Forum restructuring 2018

This will contain important announcements about ZAFur as well as the site rules. Check in here from time to time to keep up to speed.
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Rakuen Growlithe
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Forum restructuring 2018

#1

Post by Rakuen Growlithe »

There are a few changes planned for the forum and will be announced as we get them sorted out. The first one will be a restructuring of where everything goes in the forum. This is intended to make the forum more compact and less spread out in so many subforums. I will be doing this now so if you are on the forum you may notice strange things. I will give a complete list of what has been changed after I have managed to get everything in its new place.

Added in 56 minutes 51 seconds:
I think everything is done now. If there are any issues due to the restructuring, please tell me and I will fix them as soon as possible. All posts should still be there, although they have moved around. I will indicate where everything has gone below.

Officialness is now The Townhall. There have been slight changes to the subforum names but this is all essentially the same.

Furry Fandom and The World Out There have been merged to create The Public Square. Some subforums keep their old names and will not be described here. The whole IT and Technology section has been merged to a single subforum named IT and Technology in The Public Square. All of The World Out There has been merged into a single subforum named Furmeets in The Public Square.

Furry Fandom and Arts and Entertainment have been merged to create The Creative Corner. Some subforums keep their old names and will not be described here. Art and Photos have been merged to create Visual Art. Games and Silliness and Role Plays have been merged to create Playful and Silly. Fursuits, Accessories and Clothing and Plushies and Toys have been merged to create Fursuits, Plushies and Accessories.

Yiffy Games and Yiffy Role Play have been merged to create Yiffy Games and Roleplay in The Yiffy Ghetto.

All other sections remain the same.

This change has kept a lot of diversity so that topics can be nicely grouped together but it also merged a number of subforums that received very little attention. We hope this will make the forum seem a little less intimidating and more intimate. In addition, some of the mergers will be useful for future plans which will hopefully be announced in the next few weeks.
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#2

Post by Leeward »

I like it, except for one thing. Venting and support falls under the public square, which is a bit misleading since it's only visible to registered members. Not sure where else it could fit in though... Community projects, perhaps?
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#3

Post by Rakuen Growlithe »

*Pinches self*

Venting and Support and Furmeets are both not visible to non-forum members but within The Public Square. In this case public is referring to the ZAFur community. Originally it was in The World Out There which was also mostly visible to others. It could maybe be confusing. How about in the descriptions I mark which are only visible to registered members?
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#4

Post by Ivic_Wulfe »

That could be a good idea yeah
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#5

Post by Leeward »

I think in the title would be even clearer since people almost never read the fine print, e.g. Venting and Support (members only)
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#6

Post by Ventus Fall »

Ok, I see and understand most of it.
I have just one question, wouldn't it be a good idea to have the public meetups and the conventions shown publicly as well instead of having to log in?
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#7

Post by Rakuen Growlithe »

Some small additions. I have also unstickied a whole host of old threads, particularly in this subforum. Some of them had some useful information and I will be replacing them with a single thread that contains everything. The Furry Times and Anthroculture sections have been removed.
Leeward wrote: Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:45 amI think in the title would be even clearer since people almost never read the fine print, e.g. Venting and Support (members only)
That has been done.
Ventus Fall wrote: Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:46 pmOk, I see and understand most of it.
I have just one question, wouldn't it be a good idea to have the public meetups and the conventions shown publicly as well instead of having to log in?
To help organising for meet ups and reporting back, people may post addresses, phone numbers, emails and photos. All of that stuff should be kept private so the sections where we allow posting that material is kept to registered members only.
"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
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“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”
~John Milton~
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#8

Post by Ventus Fall »

Rakuen Growlithe wrote: Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:09 pm To help organising for meet ups and reporting back, people may post addresses, phone numbers, emails and photos. All of that stuff should be kept private so the sections where we allow posting that material is kept to registered members only.
I understand that about writing up such personal information that it should be protected. It's not like I like giving out such information myself anyways!
However, if all someone has to do to see that information is make an account, then I wouldn't call that secure either.
And the people who are purely interested in finding out meets and cons but don't want to go to make an account for that they might or might not make use of, or feel it might be a bit of a hassle to make an account, they won't see those meets/cons. Which I find would be a shame to those planning the meets/cons and those who want to find out if there are such meets.
Plus it's not clearly mentioned this section exists if you don't have an account.
It seems to me if you want people to meet up, that to a degree such info could be made more public. If it's more clear there are such meetings, the more information there is and the better information there is, the more people know about such gatherings and the easier it is for people to meet up. Not to share the personal information on public places, sure. But not even displaying on the public part of the forums about such meet-ups? I don't know, I think if the latter is showed clearly it could pique interest and disclose at least that bit of information to those who aren't members, and to those who are interested in finding a meeting or convention to go to.
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#9

Post by Leeward »

You could also simply list the section on the home page regardless of login state, and upon navigation there give a 403 if the user is not logged in.
Same thing as how you see usernames, but if you click one you can't see their profile.

Also I would put V&S underneath Furmeets just for logical flow.
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#10

Post by Galahad »

Perhaps it is not within our current technical reach, but I believe a map such as the FurMap could be useful: a widget where members who wish to disclose their meets publicly OR to members (simply make the map require a login in the latter) can drop a labelled pin on the map. People can click it and see the info. And it all looks aesthetically pleasing and modern.

Perhaps impractical presently, but if someone has the know how I think that would be quite innovative.
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#11

Post by Ventus Fall »

Leeward wrote: Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:40 pm You could also simply list the section on the home page regardless of login state, and upon navigation there give a 403 if the user is not logged in.
Same thing as how you see usernames, but if you click one you can't see their profile.

Also I would put V&S underneath Furmeets just for logical flow.
Galahad wrote: Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:02 pm Perhaps it is not within our current technical reach, but I believe a map such as the FurMap could be useful: a widget where members who wish to disclose their meets publicly OR to members (simply make the map require a login in the latter) can drop a labelled pin on the map. People can click it and see the info. And it all looks aesthetically pleasing and modern.

Perhaps impractical presently, but if someone has the know how I think that would be quite innovative.
Both suggestions which I think could be indeed a very good, simple and practical solution ^^
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#12

Post by Rakuen Growlithe »

It is possible to set it that people can see the subforum but not read the topics. It could perhaps be a compromise and makes meets more visible.

We do like the idea of a map and there was a spartan but functional map at one point. It fell apart with no one to maintain it though and I don't think it is still functioning. There are, unfortunately, no map extensions for the forum software (although it seems like some did exist at various times but are no longer maintained or supported). If there is someone with the skills to develop such a map then we would be interested in discussing that possibility.
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“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”
~John Milton~
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#13

Post by Galahad »

I would suggest the staff enrolls in its ranks some software development adept. Or at least outsources it to some external consultant (and I mean informal - literally just talking to another forum staff member responsible for technical upkeep counts). Professional or hobbyist, but just someone who can advise and work on matters such as these, if only to a small extent. Were I not so busy with studies and vacation work, I'd volunteer to teach myself and help out.

In any case, I really believe there is a lot of untapped potential. The Furmap is just one of them.
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#14

Post by Rakuen Growlithe »

Indeed, we agree. That's why we've spent the last 10 years, asking people who have such skills to help out in various ways. Not always technical help either; sometimes art or other skills. Either people have not been willing, not had the skills or not had the time.
"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
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“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”
~John Milton~
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#15

Post by Ventus Fall »

I agree with untapped potential as well, and I think that's because of a lot of things, not just because people are unwilling in whatever shape or form. There are also loads who don't know help is appreciated or maybe those who have asked to help but not been responded to whatever the reason.
If I had known you guys wanted help with art, I didn't know that until now! ^^ I always like to help out. I have said that before and I'm sure I also posted specifically I'd like to help out in any way I can, art or otherwise. I did not know you guys wanted help, and I was not reached out to for help. I'm sure a few others have that too.
Like Galahad says he wants to offer help. Sure, maybe doesn't have the time, but by the sound of it this is the first time.

I'm curious, have you posted somewhere clearly you were looking for certain members to recruit to help with the forum?
Honest question. If so, I haven't seen it and I do apologise for that.
In any case, whether that may or may not be the case, perhaps it's an idea then to post and publicly announce in various ways you're looking for certain skills and see who responds to that. Then check all the applicants and discuss within the staff team who you'd feel might fit the job the best. Who has the most potential and can deliver :)
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#16

Post by Leeward »

Rakuen Growlithe wrote: Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:11 pmThere are, unfortunately, no map extensions for the forum software
Who needs phpBB extensions when you can simply make a static page with a Leaflet.js map? ;)
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#17

Post by Rakuen Growlithe »

@Ventus: Requests have often been made or stated in various help threads, usually when the appropriate topics have come up. There are far more people offering suggestions, some of which are major work, than there are people offering to help implement them. Valerion has also asked several people directly in the past with almost no one, even those that agree to help, ever delivering anything. It's hard not to be cynical since I've been watching this happen for over a decade. There is plenty of interest in making something nice but, when it comes to actually doing it, then no one wants to take responsibility. So, if you want to help out with art, send me a PM and we can discuss the banner concept I have. Perhaps we can use it instead of the text forum title. While I love the current logo, we don't have any high-res version.

@Leeward: Extensions require little technical know-how so are much easier. There are probably plenty of tools to make maps. Is suggesting that one, an offer from your side to do it?
"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”
~John Milton~
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#18

Post by Leeward »

I've used it before and it's good. My web dev skills aren't what I'd like them to be but I can improvise, case in point my Leeworks Gear website. I'm afraid I don't have much free time at the moment though, work is pretty busy and of course the holiday season is upon us. I can tinker something and dump it on my GitHub if you're interested, although I'm actually fairly confident something like what you have in mind already exists in some or other form so it may be more worthwhile to search for a solution rather than make one.
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#19

Post by Ventus Fall »

Rakuen Growlithe wrote: Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:32 pm (...) So, if you want to help out with art, send me a PM and we can discuss the banner concept I have. Perhaps we can use it instead of the text forum title. While I love the current logo, we don't have any high-res version.

(...)
I have already mentioned a couple of times throughout my time being on this forum I'm offering my help, but even now that you know it personally I have to send a PM? If you want help, you know where to find me and how to contact me.
If it's about the banner, then that's no issue for me. Everything can be discussed.
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#20

Post by Rakuen Growlithe »

I shuffled the forum slightly and made members-only parts at least partially visible. No topics should be visible though. It looked fine when I tested it but tell me if something is acting up.
Leeward wrote: Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:44 pmI've used it before and it's good. My web dev skills aren't what I'd like them to be but I can improvise, case in point my Leeworks Gear website. I'm afraid I don't have much free time at the moment though, work is pretty busy and of course the holiday season is upon us. I can tinker something and dump it on my GitHub if you're interested, although I'm actually fairly confident something like what you have in mind already exists in some or other form so it may be more worthwhile to search for a solution rather than make one.
That's the issue, finding people that have skills, are willing to help and have the time to help. But yeah, December is a busy time. In the next month, I will be going through seven or eight different countries. But not a super urgent project so we can wait till the new year.
Ventus Fall wrote: Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:54 amI have already mentioned a couple of times throughout my time being on this forum I'm offering my help, but even now that you know it personally I have to send a PM? If you want help, you know where to find me and how to contact me.
If it's about the banner, then that's no issue for me. Everything can be discussed.
I said one thing that was a possibility. Maybe you weren't interested in helping with that specific thing, that's why I left the choice open to you. I'll send a PM but come on...
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“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”
~John Milton~
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Re: Forum restructuring 2018

#21

Post by Ventus Fall »

If I wasn't interested I wouldn't have mentioned it in the first place. I just saw your PM and I'll be happy to look :)
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