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Author Topic: Threaded or nested comments on TP Articles  (Read 11817 times)

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Offline keyrocks

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Threaded or nested comments on TP Articles
« on: February 01, 2012, 12:32:38 PM »
I've been exploring TP with SMF 2.0.2  offline for a week now and must say it is an excellent combination !!

I would like to be able have threaded or nested comments on articles - three to 4 levels deep. Has anyone developed threaded comments for TP Articles and, if so, any idea where I might find such a mod?
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 02:49:08 PM by keyrocks »

Offline ZarPrime

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Re: Threaded comments on TP Articles
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2012, 01:00:29 PM »
keyrocks,

If you are talking about "nested comments" where one person may comment on the article and then another user can comment on either the original comment or comment on the first commenter's comment, this is a feature that is not implemented in TinyPortal articles, as far as I know.  Articles can be setup with with comments to the article itself being either enabled or diasbled.  As far as I know, nested comments are not even something that is permitted with a vanilla SMF install in standard board topics, though there might be a Mod that does this.

ZarPrime

Offline keyrocks

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Re: Nested comments on TP Articles
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2012, 02:22:57 PM »
Thanks ZarP:
Yes, nested (or threaded, the term I'm used to) comments is what I'd like to apply to comments on TP articles. I have comments on TP articles enabled. I've noticed the comments are stored in and retrieved from the tp_variables d-base table rather than having a table dedicated to comments alone, which suggests to me that they were not considered as something to be expanded upon.

I have a threaded (nested) comments script I've used in another CMS project, which uses its own comments table in the d-base, and it is 'universal' enough that I think I could modify it to work with TP articles. It's just a matter of finding the TP file(s) and functions that store, retrieve and generate the comments.

UPDATED: I will keep looking.... but I came across a threaded discussions mod for SMF which may provide me with some insight into what I am looking for on this thread - http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=255510.msg1665654#msg1665654

I'm new to SMF so I will have my work cut out for me.  8)
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 02:55:04 PM by keyrocks »

Offline WillyP

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Re: Threaded or nested comments on TP Articles
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2012, 06:20:20 AM »
Good to see you are working on a solution yourself. We don't have an excess of coders here and anytime someone steps up to the plate to help out it's really appreciated. Since we are not even at stable release yet, that is the main focus. Keep us posted on your progress with this I am very interested myself.

Offline ZarPrime

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Re: Threaded or nested comments on TP Articles
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2012, 10:40:49 AM »
I was going to mention the same thing as WillyP.  Nested comments like this are not nearly as popular as they used to be and it is quite difficult for users that are accustomed to working with a flat comment system to grasp the nested comments system.  I know that the option is still available on some other Forum systems, and probably even Wordpress and others but most users either really like it or really hate it.  Even with the newer social networking sites these days, like Facebook, nested comments aren't available.

FWIW, had the option been available for nested comments in SMF topics when TinyPortal was first coded way back then, the option would probably have been added to the TP article system as well but that would have been Bloc's call of course.  My own opinion of nested comments is that I really don't like them because it would allow comments in topics or articles to take off on a tangent that has nothing to do with the original topic or article and most Admins wouldn't like to have this on their sites.  It's not that I couldn't get used to it but most of the time you just want your topics and replies to be on the same subject, if you know what I mean.

ZarPrime

Offline keyrocks

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Re: Threaded or nested comments on TP Articles
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2012, 12:04:50 PM »
Good to see you are working on a solution yourself. We don't have an excess of coders here and anytime someone steps up to the plate to help out it's really appreciated. (snip) Keep us posted on your progress with this I am very interested myself.
I was going to mention the same thing as WillyP.  Nested comments like this are not nearly as popular as they used to be ... (snip) ... My own opinion of nested comments is that I really don't like them because it would allow comments in topics or articles to take off on a tangent that has nothing to do with the original topic or article and most Admins wouldn't like to have this on their sites.  It's not that I couldn't get used to it but most of the time you just want your topics and replies to be on the same subject, if you know what I mean.

Thanks to both Willy and ZarP.
SMF and TP are very new to me. I've been officially retired from the 'workforce' for 11 years. Web app development is a spare time thing for me but I've been at it since early 2005. My first project was a large portal using phpNuke 7.5 with many, many of my own custom modules added in. Since 2006, I've been an Admin, modder on the sNews project but limited to support for the past year due to heavier involvement with other projects.

What led me to SMF and TP? I've been site admin on a closed, members-only, national forum-based community in Canada for the past few years. It runs on an outdated asp.net engine that hasn't been supported by its vendor for 2 years. We want to end our dependence on it (proprietary, license-restricted, can't modify the core engine) and replace it with an open source solution.

I agree 100% with ZarP... I have no problem with flat discussion boards... but the site's members (from input) have said the site is boring, they don't like the flat discussions... love F-B... and want threaded comments on the TP articles... they're OK with flat discussions on the SMF boards.

I don't have a lot of time to invest in making new mods for TP... would be happier with an out-of-the-box solution... I am willing to give this a good attempt though as long as the learning curve isn't too steep, and will happily share if it turns out to be successful.

On another SMF-related topic, I've come across the Wedge Fork of SMF... it appears the project leads have had some differences of opinion on the state of SMF and are re-writing it to their own liking. Obviously you two have been working with SMF for some time... how do you feel about SMF's relevance and place in the open source forums landscape... do you feel it has a good life ahead?

Offline WillyP

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Re: Threaded or nested comments on TP Articles
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2012, 12:36:13 PM »
My only issue with SMF and it's future is the mindset of individuals 'owning' their mods, to the point where no one else is allowed to contribute to them. As opposed to the mods being a contribution to the community. I think this attitude really hurts SMF and anyone who uses SMF. In this regard, SMF may embrace the open-source license, but not the spirit. As a result it is very hit or miss as to whether a mod gets updated to the latest version of SMF, or whether you'll get any help with a mod an author may have lost interest in.

Compared to Nucleus CMS, Nucleus encourages an atmosphere of open source plugins. And in this regard is the polar opposite of SMF. Quite often a plugin will be updated, or support given, by someone other than the original author, when the original author is no longer interested. Sometimes even when the original author is still active, someone else will post some improvements on or even a complete rewrite, though usually this follows a discussion in the forum. The wiki, the official source for plugins, is editable by anyone. No approval needed to submit code or change someone elses code.

 I have less experience with FluxBB but Flux seems to be somewhere in the middle of these two examples, mods are not usually changed without the authors permission. Approval is needed to submit a mod, and you can't change someone's code in the repository, but there is little evidence of the 'this is mine and you can't touch it' mentality.

From what I have seen of Wedge, I suspect it will be even more of a 'locked down' community than SMF, though I haven't really been following it closely.

Offline IchBin™

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Re: Threaded or nested comments on TP Articles
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2012, 01:19:03 PM »
WillyP my man, you hit the nail on the head! I cannot tell you how much I am pushing at SMF to get the Open Source community mindset to be the way forward. In fact within just the last week I started a topic in the team board titled "Are we really an Open Source project" which dealt with this exact issue of community participation etc.

Keyrocks,
In regards to Wedge and SMF. Wedge in my mind will eventually be it's own product. It seems they are making so many changes that it really will be a different choice. I say this in particular because I'm on the SMF team and I know the direction they are headed as well. SMF's 3.0 is going to completely change the way SMF's code is written. I can't divulge too much info, but let's just say that Wedge won't be compatible with SMF when we get to that point in a year or two. SMF has fallen behind in the market for many reasons. Many of them being the fault of the happenings with the Team. The mindset of the team needs to change. And is changing one step at a time.

One of the big things I'm moving to change is the customization site (since I'm the customize lead... ). We are working on getting the customize site to not require approval for mods and themes. Also, we've recently added a license requirement. With the new customize site I'm hoping that reviews, ratings etc will help the community be the police of what mods are good or bad. With the license requirement, hopefully we will see more opportunities to allow others to pick up where a mod left off.


Offline bloc

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Re: Threaded or nested comments on TP Articles
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2012, 02:01:33 PM »
Hear, hear. :) (in regards the cuz site plans specifically)

About Wedge/SMF, its like Ichbin mentions: they are(or going to be) 2 different products. Wedge has changed so much of SMF core code that its a one-way street if you convert. Its also a alternative to SMF 2 coding style - but SMF 3 will AFAIK be totally different approached code-wise.

SMF has survived, even after a landslide in team members leaving and internal problems. That says something..but its also hurt severely in the public eye. Add to that the increasing use of FB/Google/[insert social site here] and blogs make forums prob. less used now than before.  Can it be halted? Don't know, but I think pairing forum with portal/blog/gallery have a bright future, as getting "all the stuff" collected like this does present a good alternative to just moving to Facebook or Google.

Offline keyrocks

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Re: Threaded or nested comments on TP Articles
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2012, 07:33:12 PM »
- I am pushing at SMF to get the Open Source community mindset to be the way forward.
- SMF has fallen behind in the market for many reasons.
- The mindset of the team needs to change. And is changing one step at a time.
- We are working on getting the customize site to not require approval for mods and themes.
- Also, we've recently added a license requirement.
- I'm hoping that reviews, ratings etc will help the community (determine if) mods are good or bad.
- With the license requirement, hopefully we will see more opportunities to allow others to pick up where a mod left off.

Excellent IchBin; suggestive 'activism', leading by example, is the best approach. I understand the frustration; sometimes we find it necessary to measure progress in inches rather the miles. Open source projects flourish only so long as they attract enthusiastic 'stakeholders' who feel welcome within a flexible community that minimizes barriers to spontaneous collaboration. SMF team leaders (the board) will need to recreate the kind of organizational 'culture' that gave us the SMF we have today.

SMF has survived, even after a landslide in team members leaving and internal problems. That says something..but its also hurt severely in the public eye. Add to that the increasing use of FB/Google/[insert social site here] and blogs make forums prob. less used now than before.  Can it be halted? Don't know, but I think pairing forum with portal/blog/gallery have a bright future, as getting "all the stuff" collected like this does present a good alternative to just moving to Facebook or Google.

Dev team member turnover is good; while it leaves temporary gaps, it presents the opportunity for new participants to jump in with alternative perspectives, the life-blood of open source development.

Perhaps it wouldn't hurt to do a bit of 'scoping'... learn more about the trends emerging in online social community development, and focus on versatility, expandability and user convenience, with the utility value users will want two years from now.