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Old or new layout?
Which one do you prefer?
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Yves (Administrator) #1
User title: UNB developer & webmaster
Member since Jan 2004 · 3864 posts · Location: Erlangen, Germany
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Subject: Old or new layout?
BlackBoard offers two layout modes for thread contents display. The old and the new one. The new layout is called "horizontal layout" (check your CP appearance options) because it puts the username, date, userinfo and post actions into one row, followed by the post content. With the old layout, userinfo and the avatar is left of the content. This is what most boards look like. I had the idea to make a new layout as I have seen a preview of vBulletin 3, where this seems to be the only way now.

I'm planning in my head to remove all those <table>s from the thread view here and replace them by <div>s and CSS. This makes some room for other ideas and maybe makes it easier to modify the board appearance later. However, it might make things a lot simpler if I dropped the old layout entirely so that there would only remain one or more variations of what there is today. (Guests can only see the default layout anyway, without further tricks.)

Which one do you or your users prefer? Please tell me what you think about it, how I could make it even better or what you don't like about it. Make polls in your forums, if you like.
♪ ...nanananah, all in all we’re just brilliant thieves, nanananah... ♪♬
poll
Poll: Which one do you prefer?
(4 votes · 40%) The old layout, I'm so used to it
(4 votes · 40%) The new layout, it looks good
(One vote · 10%) I'd like to have something smaller
(One vote · 10%) It's the same to me / I have no idea
This poll has no time limit · 10 votes
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halr9000 #2
User title: Psi Webmaster
Member since Jul 2004 · 157 posts · Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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I prefer for you to do whatever is easiest to allow you to go forward with no tables.  CSS Zen Garden anyone?  I'm not sure, but I think phpbb2 allows a drastic re-styling of the board in this fashion.

I haven't looked at their code, but here is their styles demo in action.  Check out how different you can make the same board look, it's amazing.
-hal
http://psi.affinix.com
http://halr9000.com
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halr9000 #3
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Member since Jul 2004 · 157 posts · Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Ok, I've switched back and forth and while I'm still more used to the old layout as with IPB, but maybe the new one is growing on me.  But I still stand by what I said above.  Do what you need to do to allow people to play with <div>'s.
-hal
http://psi.affinix.com
http://halr9000.com
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Yves (Administrator) #4
User title: UNB developer & webmaster
Member since Jan 2004 · 3864 posts · Location: Erlangen, Germany
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Well, maybe the posts display could be the first case where I make use of templates here... I'm already doing some experiments with how it could look like with <div>s.
♪ ...nanananah, all in all we’re just brilliant thieves, nanananah... ♪♬
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løde #5
Member since Aug 2004 · 431 posts · Location: Alkmaar, The Netherlands
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i'm more used to the 'old style' / 'style of most boards'
i think that one is clearer then the other, if the user info is between each post it's confusing for me to read the posts. with the user info to the left user info and posts are clear seperated from each other!
"Want walvissen kunnen immers ook niets, maar zijn toch"
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Yves (Administrator) #6
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I'm not that fan of so much user info with the posts anyway. If I want to see them, I look at the user's profile. In this board you only see the users' location in a small font at the very right side and the status/title in the middle. Most posts are on the left side. The perfect symbiosis would be to mirror the old layout: put all additional stuff to the right of the post contents. :-D
♪ ...nanananah, all in all we’re just brilliant thieves, nanananah... ♪♬
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halr9000 #7
User title: Psi Webmaster
Member since Jul 2004 · 157 posts · Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Well if you put everything in a <div>, then you could mirror the old layout extremely easily by, in theory, putting {float: right;} on the div rather than left.
-hal
http://psi.affinix.com
http://halr9000.com
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løde #8
Member since Aug 2004 · 431 posts · Location: Alkmaar, The Netherlands
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In reply to post #6
Quote by Yves:
I'm not that fan of so much user info with the posts anyway. If I want to see them, I look at the user's profile.

i agree on that one!

for my 'perfect' layout i would choose to check-off the horizontal layout (so using the old layout) and then in the line above the posts only the date of posting and the reply and quote button. those buttons with info about the users profile could be left out, or be located to the left.
"Want walvissen kunnen immers ook niets, maar zijn toch"
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Yves (Administrator) #9
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OK. <div>s and templates, there'll be no other way...
♪ ...nanananah, all in all we’re just brilliant thieves, nanananah... ♪♬
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spaceman #10
Member since Sep 2004 · 295 posts
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I prefer the old layout, in fact I'm using the old layout for my own forum. Besides, it would be great if admin has the power to force all users to use the default design (ie. they dont have the option to change design in their "Control Panel")...

P/s: I like the vBulletin3 (default blue) color theme, but dislike their too-complicated admin panels. I hope to see a vBulletin Theme for BlackBoard, that would be awesome :)
BlackBoard > FUDForum > Invision > phpBB2
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Yves (Administrator) #11
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Quote by spaceman2:
Besides, it would be great if admin has the power to force all users to use the default design (ie. they dont have the option to change design in their "Control Panel")...

Please check out http://blackboard.unclassified.de/57,1#337
And you could just include a single design in the forum. ;) Delete all others or just don't install them... Hm, is there still a list to select from if there's only a single design left? Need to check this.

P/s: I like the vBulletin3 (default blue) color theme, but dislike their too-complicated admin panels. I hope to see a vBulletin Theme for BlackBoard, that would be awesome :)

I don't know the vB3 ACP, I have no vB here right now. (Oh, I could use the demo...) Hm, I'd have to see if this theme is feasible with the current CSS classes. What about the graphics? They're copyrighted... Am I allowed to create a vB-like BlackBoard theme and offer it for download here? I don't know.
♪ ...nanananah, all in all we’re just brilliant thieves, nanananah... ♪♬
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spaceman #12
Member since Sep 2004 · 295 posts
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Please check out http://blackboard.unclassified.de/57,1#337
And you could just include a single design in the forum.  Delete all others or just don't install them... Hm, is there still a list to select from if there's only a single design left? Need to check this.
No I mean the horizontal design & such, which has nothing to do with themes. I would like to force them to only use the old layout, can I?

I don't know the vB3 ACP, I have no vB here right now. (Oh, I could use the demo...) Hm, I'd have to see if this theme is feasible with the current CSS classes. What about the graphics? They're copyrighted... Am I allowed to create a vB-like BlackBoard theme and offer it for download here? I don't know.
Hmm I'm not sure but I've seen phpBB & Invision with a vBulletin skin (with exactly same graphics as well), they're not illegal coz the site that's using the skin is quite an official site.

And I vaguely remember I checked its bottom copyright msg (the vBulletin skin's) and it mentioned about the author had granted the right to use vBulletin graphics, though I'm not quite sure. I don't forget the forum link now... :-/
BlackBoard > FUDForum > Invision > phpBB2
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Yves (Administrator) #13
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Quote by spaceman2:
No I mean the horizontal design & such, which has nothing to do with themes. I would like to force them to only use the old layout, can I?

Comment out the block around cp.inc.php:1939.
♪ ...nanananah, all in all we’re just brilliant thieves, nanananah... ♪♬
dreas #14
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In reply to post #1
Quote by Yves on 2004-09-11, 17:50:
The new layout is called "horizontal layout" (check your CP appearance options) because it puts the username, date, userinfo and post actions into one row, followed by the post content.

I personally like the new layout much better, it's the thing tempting me to give Blackboard a go. It's perfect if you just have a limited width in your web design.
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