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OK, so, as many of you are aware, the new version of Daniweb is approaching.

However, I need to warn you about something in advance, so that you have some time to prepare. I've decided to allow posting in ALL forums including top-level categories.

I really was getting incredibly tired of constantly hearing people say that their question doesn't fit in a specific forum, news stories didn't fit in a specific forum, new technologies are being created every day.

From this point forward, I want to move towards consolidating categories and put more emphasis on our tags, which allow you to specify all of the technologies your questions revolve around.

For example, the Databases forum is currently limited to MS SQL, MySQL and Oracle. But there is PostgreSQL, MongoDB, all of the other NoSQL databases out there, etc. One of the consolidations I'm planning on making in the near future is just making one big Databases category, and then using tags to differentiate which database is used. Therefore, you can post in the PHP forum with the tag MySQL and your thread will get double exposure.

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Last Post by diafol
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When I create a new thread will I have a list of check boxes that I can select which forum(s) apply? That sounds like it could get very confusion real quick. What if someone just checks them all??

If I respond to a thread in one of the forums is my answer going to show up in all the other forums in which the thread appears?

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> When I create a new thread will I have a list of check boxes that I can select which forum(s) apply?
You'll still post in a single forum, just like now.

However, the same way you can TAG your threads now with multiple keywords, keywords will be used to more finely tune the topic of your post.

For example:

Issue to be solved:
Constant issues with people not being able to find an appropriate forum, making requests for new forums, existing forums (like Novell) going out-of-date, new technologies constantly coming up all the time with nowhere to post about them until a new forum is made, ...


Right now:
Databases category (no posting)
Subforums include MySQL, MS SQL, Oracle
Nowhere for MongoDB, PostgreSQL, and all of the other database questions to be asked

New way:
Create thread in the Databases forum
Tag your thread with MySQL, MS SQL, MongoDB, or any other combination of keywords


Right now:
Question about PHP not being able to connect to MySQL
Don't know whether to post in PHP or MySQL
Can't post in both because it would be double-posting

New way:
Create thread in the PHP forum
Tag your thread with MySQL
Your thread will show up as normal in the PHP forum, but it will also show up when people do a tag search on the MySQL keyword

Keep in mind .......

The tagging feature will be nearly exactly like it's been for the past 2 years. The only thing changing here is we'll be allowing threads to be posted in all forums, even top level categories.

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So, the member has new choice: 1) cross post in any forums they wish, or (2) create a thread in one forum and tag it for the other forums.

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> 1) cross post in any forums they wish,

No, I don't know where you keep getting the idea that you can cross-post? And you can't tag to other forums. You can just tag, and it shows up when searching for that tag. The same way it works now.

Edited by Dani: n/a

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>>I don't know where you keep getting the idea that you can cross-post?

From this statement:

>> The only thing changing here is we'll be allowing threads to be posted in all forums, even top level categories.

This whole concept will most likely become clear once it is implemented. I have never used tags so I have no idea how they work.

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Therefore, you can post in the PHP forum with the tag MySQL and your thread will get double exposure

This is possible even now, except for the double exposure part. :)
What exact measures do you have in mind to ensure wide adoption of tags to the point that they are actually useful?

I can see the concept of tags working good for a given forum (i.e. MySQL, Oracle tags in Database forum) but cross-forum, not so much.

For e.g. someone wants Python client to communicate with a Java server which is hooked to MySQL database and he is having problems interfacing the three of them. A minor portion of the crowd would try to break down the issue into different parts and post in it relevant forum. But, a majority of them decide to post it as a single blob.

In that case, which part of the forum does this thread go in? If someone decides to post it in MySQL with "python" and "java" tags, what is the probability of it being picked up by folks at the Java/Python forum?

Edited by ~s.o.s~: n/a

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So, Like on Stack Overflow?

It's a move in that direction, yes. Stack Overflow is all about tags while Daniweb will still be a traditional forum with stronger focus on tags for refined searching. The biggest difference is that you can post directly to Web Development, for example, instead of being forced to dig down into a specific forum.

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The idea is that no system is perfect ... whether we rely strictly on forum categories or strictly on tags like with StackOverflow. However, the goal here is to solve the problem that I've been faced lately with technology changing so rapidly, it's impossible to keep up with constantly adding forums, forums going dead over time, etc. With well over 100 forums already, the current end result is that there are an overwhelming number of categories for newbies, and yet still a lot of big technologies nowadays (MongoDB, NodeJS, etc) are missing. Therefore, I've opted to simplify the forum list, and encourage peopole to use tags the way they currently already are.

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The other reason to allow posting in top level categories is because many times I've had people click on Software Development, see a listing of threads, not see a place wehre they can start one, so think they just don't have permission to post. It's not clear at first that there are categories and forums and you can't post in the categories.

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> The idea is that no system is perfect ...

Sure, I understand that. I was just curious about your statement related to "double exposure" and was wondering whether you had arranged an implementation wherein threads tagged with "java" in the MySQL forum would also show up in the Java forum with both the links (the one present in MySQL and Java forum) referring to the same thread.

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By double exposure I simply meant that the thread shows up in its forum, and can also be searchable by its tags. The exact same way as now. For example, the thread "PHP and MySQL: Can't UPDATE records in database" appears both here in the PHP forum (http://www.daniweb.com/web-development/php/17) as well as when listing all tags about MySQL (http://www.daniweb.com/tags/mysql) because it is classified in the PHP forum but is using the MySQL tag.

By double exposure I did not mean that you can cross-post or that a thread would appear in multiple forums.

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Does this then mean if we just want to peruse the C++ threads, we simply click on the top level and choose filter by C++?

Or is this going to be a nightmare where we have to look at all the posts, all mixed together with different tags categories?

I'm unsure of stackoverflow... I thought it was a paid userbase.

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> Does this then mean if we just want to peruse the C++ threads, we simply click on the top level and choose filter by C++?
If you want to peruse C++ threads, you would do so the same way you do now.

The replacing forums with tags is going to be for sub-sub-forums, to keep the number of forums to something normal while still catering to all technology questions. For example, there are so many different Database platforms out there, we can't possibly have a forum for all of them. And the ones we do have don't get a lot of traffic. So instead I'm going to roll it up into one Databases forum and you can use tags to specify the specific database you're using.

Our more popular forums will remain as is. We're currently at somewhere like 150 forums, and I can think off the top of my head of at least 20 additional technologies that currently don't have a good fit. Ideally, I want to have no more than 50ish forums, for all the popular time-tested technologies, and use tags to fill in the gaps and cover "fad" technologies.

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I think what you're proposing is pretty straightforward and shows considerable sense. Splitting forums into minority subformums every time a new technology comes online has got to be a bad idea. Tagging sounds familiar and comfortable.

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Oh that's good. I was under the impression all the major forums would be tagged as well like stack overflow.

I don't particularly like their setup. At least this is OK from my point of view so I won't notice much deference.

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I don't think this works. I tried it in http://www.daniweb.com/community-center/daniweb-community-feedback/threads/418509/copying-code-to-clipboard- then went to the forums in the tags and my post did not show up in those forums.

I'm not sure I understand what you were expecting to happen. The post lives in the community feedback forum and due to the tags will show up when you do a search from the tag cloud. Adding a "c++" tag to a post in the community feedback forum won't make that post appear in the C++ forum.

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Let me recapitulate simply, how I understand the Dani's plan:

  1. Old situation with hierarchy of forums was pain in sitting parts to keep up to date and to choose in the correct subforum.
  2. Solution of Dani is simply to remove the subforums and encourage to replace the functionality of subforums by suggesting to use the tagging as existed allready before to specify the subtopic.
  3. No cross posting occur, but searching by the keyword should restrict the forum's posts to certain subtopic (say searching mysql tag in forum Databases)

Edited by pyTony: apostrophe

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That's close, Tony. The subforums are still there as before, but now we also allow posting directly to a category such as Software Development or Web Development (something that wasn't allowed in vBulletin) where the tagging system can optionally be used to locate those threads through the tag cloud.

The forum hierarchy concept remains the same, it's just loosened up a little bit to support threads that don't quite fit into any single subforum.

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Do not take stress of these things, we know that you have priorities. But when you have time, after dust settles...

It has not been visible for me, but I have noticed that due to changed feature set now my usage pattern is to stay in top level of Software Development and Community Center and open the real time log beside the member count (not obvious, maybe hiding from newbies by purpose) to see what is now happening.

Before I used the happened since last login feature of forum, and the fact it remembered which message I had read from thread last. It disturbed me a lot to have new icons to reappear now and again in begining after update. Now the icons do not change, even they where posted to after my last openning them. Main page does not gray out the folders by main level (like top level Software Development) mark all read request, maybe now it does. It also have all forums not only my favorite ones.

If you could produce a list of threads I have posted in during last week and have list of them, and after them other threads with new messages since last visit, it would be nice. (It would of course be nice to have autorefresh every 5 minutes) Since I do not get login events (like happygeek had last activity 2 days ago) for each day, at least before this new site, looks like auto login of browser does not count as login. So you could keep time of last thread/forum opened by each member.

One feature request which should be easy to add is to have the absolute time when the page was refreshed last, so it is possible to keep the page long time open and understand that thread with post relative time 5 minutes ago and refreshed one hour ago, is really posted 1 hour 5 minutes ago, and maybe between last refresh and now (last hour).

Other info usefull about activity of thread would be to know, which messages are posted since OP last visited his thread. The thread could open to first of those if my own visit to thread is not remembered in database. This would make also abondoned thread obvious, were there is 10 answers improving on each other, but OP have not opened the thread to see any of them.

Edited by pyTony: One more suggestion more

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