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that's really cool! if this feature is included in the daniweb, then surely it is going to be far far far and far better than any other CS forumn in google.com. :)

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Text. I was originally going to find a way to make our IRC channel more integrated into the site, but it ended up making more sense to do something in-house instead.

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What'll you be using - something like meteor (node/Mongo) ??

BTW: I just know that this is going to be good ...

Edited by diafol

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yeah!! true!! :-)
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For now, just sticking with what I know (PHP/MySQL/jQuery), especially to keep it as integrated as possible. Depending on how heavy its usage becomes, I'll take the time to learn newer/better technologies and slowly migrate.

So far I have about a day's work into it, and I'm going to launch it soon to get initial feedback.

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Sneak preview

Absolutely awesome. Nice look, easy to use, no "phaffing". Not bad for "less than a day's coding" :)

Member List

I noticed the member list are links to profiles, however in iRC I think they're like PMs. kiwiirc (my current favourite), offers a shortcut menu on click with options for [message, info, slap]
I like the fact that invisibles like myself don't show up in the list, however, this could be a shock as I sneak up behind you and say "BOOO!"

Smilies and Stuff

Will you be inserting smiley images / colours etc, or will it be cutdown markdown - if anything? Sure we don't want that amateurish nonsense in the forum posts, but for chat? Why not?

Private Rooms

Could be useful.

From our chat last night, I don't think that rooms would necessarily take the place of forum PMs. Chat is immediate. I get maybe one PM every 2 months - asking for help usually.

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Wooah! This chat implementation rocks! I hope we start getting more chatters. I can see myself getting drawn into this at all hours of the day.

Was thinking - do you reckon that a 'focus discussion topic' say once a week would draw in people? I realise that this would be difficult for everybody due to the timezones. But I kinda like the idea. You could even do a vidcast a la Ustream!

Noticed that images aren't allowed in the chat, unlike links. I tried copying the markdown for an image but it didn't work :( I didn't really expect it to though.

Oh, and the link for chatting if logged out - obviously it's not there and guests can see the chat log, but wouldn't it be a nice carrot to have a button/snip saying 'log in to chat' or something?

BTW - feeling chat is hijacking this thread - need to open a new one for "chatters' matters" ?

Edited by diafol

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Absolutely awesome. Nice look, easy to use, no "phaffing". Not bad for "less than a day's coding" :)

Thanks!

I noticed the member list are links to profiles, however in iRC I think they're like PMs. kiwiirc (my current favourite), offers a shortcut menu on click with options for [message, info, slap]

I changed it so the member list are links to the member's personal shoutbox instead.

I like the fact that invisibles like myself don't show up in the list, however, this could be a shock as I sneak up behind you and say "BOOO!"

This is by design.

Will you be inserting smiley images / colours etc, or will it be cutdown markdown - if anything? Sure we don't want that amateurish nonsense in the forum posts, but for chat? Why not?

Most likely not right now, sorry. Still want to keep it professional and tightly integrated enough with the forums that it becomes implicitely understood that the same rules go for everywhere. For example, right now the chat uses the same profanity filter as the forums, and moderators have the ability to permanently delete old messages from the chat log.

From our chat last night, I don't think that rooms would necessarily take the place of forum PMs. Chat is immediate. I get maybe one PM every 2 months - asking for help usually.

Still on the fence about private rooms. I don't want them to make private messages obsolete, and even more importantly, I don't want members to get bombarded with incoming chat requests. I like the idea of every member having a public shoutbox for now, and leaving it at that.

Wooah! This chat implementation rocks! I hope we start getting more chatters. I can see myself getting drawn into this at all hours of the day.

Thanks so much!!

Was thinking - do you reckon that a 'focus discussion topic' say once a week would draw in people? I realise that this would be difficult for everybody due to the timezones. But I kinda like the idea. You could even do a vidcast a la Ustream!

Perhaps Davey might be interested in running such a thing? He can feature it in the monthly newsletter, for example?? That being said, anyone can lead such a thing in their personal shoutbox.

Noticed that images aren't allowed in the chat, unlike links. I tried copying the markdown for an image but it didn't work :( I didn't really expect it to though.

This is by design. The markdown currently supported are the inline elements (as opposed to any block-level elements). This means there is support for bold, italics, inline code, and links. There's no support for anything that would consume more than a single line of text.

Oh, and the link for chatting if logged out - obviously it's not there and guests can see the chat log, but wouldn't it be a nice carrot to have a button/snip saying 'log in to chat' or something?

Yeah, I'm still trying to figure out how best to display it. You don't need to just be logged in, you also need to be in the Community Members group (as opposed to the Newbies group). This means at least 5 posts and be registered for at least a few days. (So newbies can't just bang out 5 crap posts in 2 minutes to instantly get the privilege, because that just is more of a headache for moderators to have to cleanup people who post crap just to get upped.)

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detailed response - appreciated
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BTW - feeling chat is hijacking this thread - need to open a new one for "chatters' matters" ?

Makes sense. Sticky perhaps for the time being.

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If you don't mind me saying so, I think the Active Rooms feature really is what makes it all useful.

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Hmm from my opinion it could be changing attitude towards the site also.

I mean from my personal experience, if I have a technical issue at work and want a response ASAP I will go to SO. Primarily because although we have some solid knowledge amongst the main members there is a far larger flow of knowledge on SO it seems in terms of getting specific answers quicker. If I were to post to C# I generally know I would be waiting for the likes of Ketsuekiame etc to reply for a solution.

I haven't posted a query on here in C# for a while. I'm on here more for the discussion side of technical questions when I get them and/or answering others. The integrated chat will further support this side of the forums more/

Edited by Mike Askew

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Maybe that's the answer Dani, or part of it. Maybe you need to lure more brains to your site so that answers can come quicker! Perhaps some Daniweb swag for actively helping members, or something like that. People like their swag! I don't know for sure but I've seen that come up a few times (long wait times for answers) which means there's just not enough brains solving problems here.

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I don't know for sure but I've seen that come up a few times (long wait times for answers) which means there's just not enough brains solving problems here.

That's certainly an issue. However, there's a lack of questions too. So, maybe chicken and egg situation. From looking at the PHP forum, there's very rarely something really new or challenging there for a 'brain' as you call them. There are a handful of contributors who answer most of the questions within a short space of time, [EDIT] but after just having a quick scan I noticed that a number of OP weren't replied to for 2-3 hours. That's got to be frustrating for somebody that's desperate to unblock their code.

Looking at SO, they certainly have a wealth of brains and responses are almost immediate. That's the competition. Is that where DW needs to be to be able to compete for visitors?

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I don't think Daniweb can compete with the user base Q & A of stackoverflow. It's a very different beast. Here we get inundated with one post requests, homework questions and other crapola.

That's probably why the answers aren't as succint as SO. I mean you can google something and more or less be guaranteed to find exactly what you want over at SO. On DW ... well if someone is asking a homework question no one here worth their salt is going to reply to the answer in depth because the point is for the OP to learn by themselves. Perhaps it is this why google ranks the DW answers as being lower down than SO.

Dani needs to apply another strategy or some other clever niche to compete. But waging war with SO and hoping to usurp their dominance ain't gonna happen IMO.

Edited by iamthwee

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No, I agree, I wasn't saying go to war with SO - I've said a number of times myself that SO serves a very different purpose. However, DW needs to be able to 'compete' with regard to Google visibility for example. When I search for a solution, DW almost never appears on the first page. Brains are required, question posters (who may also be Brains!) are required. How to entice a greater number of each to post here? The questions I peruse on DW tend to be very low level, noob, first-time poster type affairs. I don't think that's very attractive nor a sustainable situation. I'm not knocking DW, by any means, but it does concern me.

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I see the same small set of questions being asked again and again. After a while I get tired of showing how to read/write Excel files from vb. There just aren't that many challenging questions any more and I really don't feel like answering questions for posters who are too bloody lazy to use SEARCH. I'm at the point where I don't even want to say "here's a link to the answer you lazy oik".

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If you keep on measuring yourself in this way, then there will come a point of no return and your forums will stagnate. They will likely always be here, but not have more than core users, a clique. There's nothing worse and more self-defeating than self-doubt and comparisons to others. (or other forums)

As the saying goes, 'don't plough another man's field'. This saying works in two ways, don't interfere with something that isn't yours, or do another's work for them. If you start knocking yourself too much, others might start believing it and move to where YOU are saying that the grass in 'greener'.

I've just visited SO and I don't like it. They seem to be too hung up on conventions and standards, or where such standards are necessary they castigate the inexperienced user without taking into consideration their inexperience. It's a breeding ground for anal retentives.

I've never seen or been to Daniweb's little sister site 'Programming Forums', how is that doing? Is that where your core elite developers hang out? Is that where the big questions are asked, and answered? Can that forum be appended to this?

The competitions you run, would it help to mention them, perhaps posted as a sticky, in each of the language forums? Possibly with a title such as a distinct name and period it will run through. For example, "Fractal Competition July-Sept", or something much more imaginative. It's only this forum and one other forum that I actually read some of the community posts. But, I'm subscribed to tens of forums and never bother with their community area, so I wouldn't be surprised if you have visitors that never set foot in these community forums.

By making these suggestions I'm not painting a picture of any failings, you girls and guys know your stuff, these are just opinions.

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Bravo
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As an occasional visitor to daniweb, I have to say I never even noticed a change in software, and thought that popup think when posting was just an addition.

What I have noticed in other places I visit regularly is that activity drops come spring/summer time.

Whether that contributes to such I dramatic overnight decrease, I doubt, just an observation.

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I don't think anybody is saying "be an SO clone". The point was that a main pickup (but not the only one) for new visitors is from search engines like Google. Unfortunately SO floods the first page, so IMO - you may disagree - DW needs to get into the mix to attract more visitors. Of course, once visitors take the bait, there's got to be something to keep them coming back. Those are separate issues, but one can drive the other, with regard to hits and rankings. I think 'metathreads' like these are vitally important for helping to develop a community site and Dani has been - and is - extremely open and has taken on board a number of member suggestions in order to promote and further develop the site. I totally agree with the,

There's nothing worse and more self-defeating than self-doubt and comparisons to others.

Analysis of metrics is very useful, but - we have a saying in education - "weighing the pig more often won't make the pig any fatter". There has to be a balance too though with the real world of maintaining and nurturing a viable user base.

Edited by diafol

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I'm using IE 9,10 & 11 but am not being able to post a thing!
(This is so almost ever since the editor was replaced/updated or something; (Not sure of exactly when!). But;
Since then, I'm not being able to use the drop-down menu of the site to navigate sub-sections of Daniweb or write a reply or answering post while on Explorer 9, 10 or 11, so my worst guess is that it has something to do with this fact along all other mentioned so far...

But again, It is possible that this is related to my (somewhat stronger) security settings, and I really hope, my existing security settings are to be blamed for this reduced functionality. i.e.: inability to post new messages, etc., etc.

p.s.: there is some truth in guessing that the drop in activity is related - and maybe - approximately equal to the rationale of IE market share!

[hope this info helps some bit]
My kind Regards.

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a major annoyance is that the ad banner on top of the page blacks out the entire site and blocks navigation whenever you hover over it with your mouse.
This doesn't happen in all forums, or maybe with all banners, but it's something needs to be looked at.

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