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Wazoo

Reply Mode/Button Confusion

19 posts in this topic

In a discussion about the confusion of some icon and function changes in this software, I don't think I can top this posted (by a bradl) observation as found in the Invision Power Board Feature Suggestions Forum;

The problem remains that Reply = quote and in most cases it's pointless in the extreme to quote a post that's already right there for anyone to see. Quoting should be rare and for a specific reason - to clarify context, to respond to different parts of a post point by point, to bring in something from another page, to bring an off-topic thread back to the original topic by restating the topic, etc.

It's seems fairly clear (at least on my board) that many inexperienced users don't intend to quote and are confused when they hit what seems like the logical button, placed right there in the post they are reading ... Reply ... and the post is quoted. The lazy don't bother to edit the quote; the careful are afraid to touch anything in the box but manage to add their comment; the timid just bail, often leaving behind a quoted repeat of the immediately preceding post and nothing else. Does anyone else see this on their boards? I see it a lot.

Why users don't say, "Eh? What's all this then? <delete, delete>" I don't know. But it drives me crazy. I know, that's a personal problem. Now failing to use Preview Post, that's another issue but I don't blame the Reply button for that.

So, trying to point out the differences;

Add Reply - barnd new fresh empty box to type your words into .. this should be the "normal" mode if you are replying to the last post in the Topic or your response is clearly targetted to a previous post (especially if that post is still visible on the same screen as your Reply)

"Reply - extracts the previous poster's words and adds them into a new box, such that you can respond to specific lines and statements. Please edit out the data not needed before "Adding the Reply" (Note, multi-embedding of Quotes has been turned off, so if you are quoting a post that was also quoting yet another post, the previously quoted text is in fact removed ... again, you should be responding to the previous posters comments in your reply ..)

+/- Quote - a button that pulls in multiple postings into your Reply box, such that you can talk to several previous posts in one Reply .. and again, please edit out data not needed before "Adding the Reply"

Fast Reply - a feature that enables users to quickly post in a topic without loading the usual Add Reply page. The posting box is minimal with no emoticons or tag buttons.

Note: bradl asked for permission to use his commentary ... answered with;

No problem - glad someone sees it my way :-) Very decent of you to ask, too.

With permission and best regards,

Brad L. )

Thanks !!

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And still it continues ... A disussion from yet anothe IPB Administrator asking the question once again ....

Invision Power Services _ IPS Customer Chat _ Add Reply confusion

Posted by: Steve_e Yesterday, 06:34 AM

Hi -

One of the features of IPB2 is confusing my forum members, and I just thought I'd ask if anyone has a cunning way of dealing with it!

There are now two reply buttons (which I guess go with the new linear/outline threading feature). The little one under each post allows a direct response to a post that might be some way back in the conversation. The big one at the end allows the main linear response as the latest post.

However, many of my members are misusing the small one under every post. This one also inserts a quote from the post directly responded to. But often they are just replying generally to the conversation rathe than wanting to quote someone's post. When they get to the end of the conversation they still click that individual reply button and leave the quote in. If a few people in succession do that they end up with a whole bunch of embedded quotes...

I know it's just a question of them learning which button to click but it means you have to keep reminding people. Any other smart solutions out there to deal with this or am I the only one with this problem? I'm sure there must be an obvious way to overcome it but I can't think of it...

Making the individual reply button disappear on the last post might help?

Posted by: Matt Yesterday, 06:39 AM

One method that I've considered is to remove the "reply" button from the post bar under the post and have it shown at the end of the post when one moves their mouse over the post.

Either that or when clicked, a java scri_pt dialogue opens asking if they wish to include a copy of "this" post in a quote.

Posted by: Alahmnat Yesterday, 06:58 AM

I always thought it was a bad idea to change the "Quote" button into a "Reply" button, personally. I retained the original quote wording for the button on my site and just tacked a little "+" button onto the side which serves as the multi-quote activator, which then changes color and turns into a "-" when clicked.

Posted by: Wazoo Yesterday, 11:14 AM

I started a "How to use ..." Forum section ... the entry for these buttons is at http://forum.spamcop.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=3522

Posted by: Steve_e Yesterday, 01:22 PM

Thanks for the replies - I can see that the direct reply option is a great feature when used properly. It's the education of members in using it properly that's difficult to achieve, and with that in mind, thanks very much to wazoo for his tips page - very nicely put!

I'd also forgotten about the nested quotes feature, so thanks for that reminder!

Posted by: _Cy_ Today, 01:05 AM

Oh please Matt, dont mess with the Reply buttons! I think it's genious the way it is...

For the user: You could change the small reply button to "Reply To" and add another "Reply" button next to it (small graphic) which does the same thing as the main reply button. I'm pretty sure that would stop some of the confusion, plus adds some convienience

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Well, I am happy to see explanations of the different functions. I am one of those who sticks with whatever first worked for me. I saw all those quotes and so was afraid to try the fast reply in case I, then, would have to delete, delete (now I need a quote!)

IMHO, on a help board like this one, the fewer options, the better for those who aren't interested in anything but an answer for their question that has nothing to do with how the board works. But it probably isn't possible to have different functions for different forums.

Miss Betsy

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But it probably isn't possible to have different functions for different forums.

Actually, this application is very modifiable .... as each page is dynamically built at the time of viewing, the code can be modified quite a bit. Most folks start with the colors, icons, graphics and such to integrate the Forum with an existing web-site, but other get into actually moving stuff around, adding things like the Google Advert stuff, on and on. There are even some functional things here that I've changed.

However, for the 'big' changes, one needs access to the actual program files for this app. I don't have that access. There are folks writing "mods" that can be applied, but there's also the issue of support and trust involved with that route. The downside is that these modifications usually get broken with the next application update (and 2.1 is just around the corner), so this feeds into the value judgement of just how much work do you want to put into rewriting code and then having to decide whether to upgrade and start all over, or stick with the outdated version ...

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No, it doesn't seem to be worth it to do a lot of customization just to keep down those posts that have the huge quotes in them. For this forum, perhaps just disabling that function would work (or changing the name of the button) if that is not a big deal. Step by step is always better for newbies and those who answer, if they don't have the patience to do step by step, probably shouldn't be answering anyway! <g>

Miss Betsy

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For this forum, perhaps just disabling that function

Miss Betsy

26560[/snapback]

Oh, I dunno, maybe I'm a goofy one. But that comment is impossible to relate to a subject above it in thread view since you used the *OTHER* reply button (ADD REPLPY)

It's ironic and funny to me. In the issue over reply, you didn't realize how it looks odd in thread view. I happen to be one who likes that view in order to quickly ascertain which posts to read. They are the ones further down the thread which will also include above posts quoted inside. It's cool once you try it! ;)

So let's not think about doing what another member suggested,

Making the individual reply button disappear on the last post might help?

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What I used was the fast reply - which I have never used before because I didn't want to have to figure out what it did differently than the usual 'Add Reply'.

I still have not tried the buttons on the posts themselves to see what they do. Until someone hints that they are much better, I have found a way that I understand and being not a techie, I don't want to find a better way.

I just lucked into using this way and as you say, it suits me because I can go back and see what has been said by others. I thought it was the buttons on the posts themselves that were causing the confusion and those were the ones that I thought should be disabled.

And now I am annoyed because on the fast reply, I forgot to uncheck 'email notification' and now I can't find out where to change it back.

Miss Betsy

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And now I am annoyed because on the fast reply, I forgot to uncheck 'email notification' and now I can't find out where to change it back.

My Controls | Subscriptions .... in this case, Topics should list this one and allow the unsubscribe. (fingers crossed <g>)

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You can uncross your fingers - it worked!

It's in the email also except that, for some reason, I was looking for something to click on that said 'subscriptions' and didn't think to try clicking on 'topic' - good example of how newbies work!

Miss Betsy

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Ok, so let me see if I have this straight. Using the Reply button under each post (with or without quoting) puts a reply on the conversation in 'proper thread position'. I.e., if you look at the thread tree, it maintains proper thread splits and divergent paths. If you view it just in chronological order (as I do), it doesn't really matter which reply button was used, it'll look the same to you.

Now, with respect to threaded view, which post do the AddReply/FastReply buttons stick your reply on? The last chronological one? Or does it start a new thread split off the main one? That would make the most sense if I have things understood correctly. <edit>After posting this, I see that the second (new thread-split) is correct </edit>

If i got it right, it seems that including both sets of reply methods on the screen is inappropriate, especially if people don't realize their are two different viewing options and that their button choice will cause different results for different viewers. IMO the better interface would be to have post-specific replies only available if viewing in threaded mode, and the Fast/Add replies only in chronological mode. but maybe that would just cause more confusion.

Edited by Jank1887

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...Using the Reply button under each post (with or without quoting) puts a reply on the conversation in 'proper thread position'.  I.e., if you look at the thread tree, it maintains proper thread splits and divergent paths. 

...

IMO the better interface would be to have post-specific replies only available if viewing in threaded mode, and the Fast/Add replies only in chronological mode.   

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he's got it man :excl: I too took lot's of "what the heck" trials to figgure these out. And I'm a bit more inquisitive than joe blow user.

Since I like thread view, that's where I'd expect a reply should get appropriately located like Jank1887 says.

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Since I like thread view, that's where I'd expect a reply should get appropriately located like Jank1887 says.

27827[/snapback]

Except I am reading Jank1887's post (alternatively) to say that those not viewing via thread view to only get the other reply button, which will still mess up threading for those viewing in thread mode.

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Laughing a bit here ... IPB Forum has a new request from another IPB Forum user/Admin asking how to "force" all his users to only be 'allowed' to use the "Standard" view .. apparently the use of the other views screws up the "advertising" (assumedly, the banners, boxes, etc. don't show up in those 'skins' <g>)

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Since I like thread view, that's where I'd expect a reply should get appropriately located like Jank1887 says.

27827[/snapback]

Except I am reading Jank1887's post (alternatively) to say that those not viewing via thread view to only get the other reply button, which will still mess up threading for those viewing in thread mode.

27833[/snapback]

Yes and yes. The way it's currently set up, in thread view it orders things appropriately. However, You Can't Have It Both Ways. If both are available, many posts get made out of threaded view, thus rendering threaded view pointless. If you do use threaded view, and people have posted using the threaded context and don't quote, people who read in standard view will be reading things out of order and threaded context. You need to pick either threaded or standard. Mixing the two is pointless.

NOW, you could have both if you get rid of the topic reply button, and only allow reply's to specific posts. That would force it it maintain threaded order (and would be enhanced if you couldn't turn off quoting so std viewers don't get confused.)

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I took the time to see if I could see a 'threaded' view and so far had no luck. All I see is posts one right after the other with no relation to whether they are replying to a particular post except what they quote. I thought that was the way web forums were (as opposed to ngs) What option am I missing seeing?

Miss Betsy

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Try hitting http://forum.spamcop.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=4062 then hit the "Outline" towards the top-right ... you'll see the first post of the Topic in its full glory, then "the issue" below that 'box' .... ot looks like a 'threaded' view, but still trying to sort out the 'connections'

a funny conversation in news://news.spamcop.net/spamcop.mail or http://news.spamcop.net/pipermail/spamcop-...May/thread.html

Subject: is this board alive

(funny that someone [not this poster] that objects to the web-based Forum calls a newsgroup a "board")

Well, the software they are using for the forum sucks, IMO. Check out http://forums.macnn.com to see forums done in a way that doesn't totally alienate people used to NNTP.

Wazoo - Other than putting a border around each post, I'm not quite seeing the major difference ...???? I didn't register, so not logged in .. perhaps there's a different "view" possible? Thinking that you might be suggesting something like http://forum.spamcop.net/forums/index.php?...2&mode=threaded

Oh god no, that is ugly. I was referring to the light bulb icons by the forums with new posts on the main screen. When you go to the particular forum you are interested the icons clearly show which threads have new messages, which ones you have posted in, and you can easily mark a thread/forum as read.  You do have to be registered for these features to be useful.

Wazoo - The IPB Forum app does the same thing with the blue icons ... dark when new content exists, light blue when all read, clicking on that icon sets the flag (and marks existing content) as "read" ....???? Registered, logged in, and cookies used ... actually not sure that the first two are actually required now that you/I bring that up ... I seem to recall that even as a Guest, one can tick the icon ...

I see now that these are available in the spamcop forums. I guess it shows you that I haven't logged in for quite some time. The only remaining problem with this feature is that locked and moved topics do not clearly indicate whether or not there are new messages in them

Wazoo - OK, after my last post here, checked, and yes, it appears you have to be logged in to see the changes in the Read/Unread icons.

The "locked" / closed items ... technically, shouldn't normally have 'new' content (although Admin/Moderators 'can' add more posts to them .. (just not normally done) .. so once read, they should stay 'read' ...

"Moved" for the most part is a temporary thing ... I'll usually wait until the original poster adds something to the new location .. at that point, the "Moved" link gets whacked .. admit that this is a "when I see it" thing .. Point being that if the "Moved" item was of interest, one would have followed / seen the current Topic/Discussion when hitting that other Forum, either following the link or manually navigation. Coming back a while later, generally, you won't see the "Moved" item in the Topic list ...

The only specific item that this may be a real issue with is the Pinned pointers to the FAQ, but (as stated previously here) I've made some changes to the layout and placed those links at the top of the displayed page ... when I update the Forum FAQ, it's just an edit of the existing document, so none of the pointers actually change data ...but I also have a "last updated" line at the top of that entry that goes along with the "never complete, always be updated" description .... (but, "we" all have been surprised at the changes made to the www.spamcop.net FAQ with no announcement <g>)

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How about that? I was searching in 'my' options.

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? It may take longer because now I will have to figure out the buttons and how they work. (where will this post end up?)

Miss Betsy

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Beta 4 of version 2.1 released yesterday ... and yet, discussion on the "Reply and Add Reply buttons still goes on. Some people removing buttons from the screen, others coming up with new icons, yet another guy offering up a modification to turn on/off the entire quoting capability ....

Noting also that there are a number of other IPB Forum Admins that also report the newby problem of the "Report" button being used in an attempt to post something ...???

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And yet another discussion seen in yet another IPB support Forum by other "customers" (read that as Admins, as this Forum is for folks that paid the money ...)

IPSBeyond _ IPB Assistance _ Using The Quote?

Posted by: Jbugman Today, 05:03 AM

Hello,

Sorry, I should have put these both together.

How do you use the quote? Say I just want to quote a single line is there an easy way? At present, if i press the quote button it turns red and if i go to reply, the entire post is quoted which is not always what I want.

Anyway, thanks for any info

Posted by: pedrok Today, 05:14 AM

Really all you can do is delete the extra text that is diplayed.

Also to quote one post use the button. The one that turns red allows you to quote multiple posts

The other option is

Copy the text you want to quote

Press " Add reply"

Paste the test you want

Highlight it with mouse and then press the button (located above your text entry box

Posted by: Mesmer Today, 08:55 AM

Or use the button, highlight some text and click the 'Add Selected text As Quote' button under the fast reply field.

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