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And by this, I don't mean remove the forum topic/reply posting system, I mean remove the automagical Forum_Id association that lots of forum systems use. In Database terms, forums often consist of posts which are assigned to topics, which are assigned to forums, which are assigned to categories, which are assigned to boards. I'm thinking that in the times of wikism these forms of categorisation are out-dated.

Take, for example, the "Your Announcements" and "Help Wanted" forums. Imagine if the poster was both pushing out an advert for thier project but also wanting someone on board to help out - which forum do they post in? What about someone wanting to use a new HDR algorithm in OpenGL, do they post it in the OpenGL forum or the GFX Forum? Database questions - General Programming or Web Development - it's clearly neither, but I've started seeing a lot more topics on both these days.

So what do I suggest? Categorisation systems that are user-defined by way of tags. Instead of forums, use the tags to create your own views of the topic pool (of course, a forum should supply a bunch of presets to help the lazy). "Show me all C#-based Database questions", "Show me all C++, OpenGL questions about HDR", etc.

I might have a go at making a proof of concept.
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Original post by superpig
*cough* tags may or may not already be in the platform design for V5 *cough*

I wouldn't know :P

But I'm guessing you still have the forum_id concept, this removes it completely.

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I wish everyone would stop treating tags like it's the next big thing. Sure, they're useful but come on, it's just a pimped keyword search. As such, tags would make for an excellent meta-navigation system that could replace the search, but I for one like my forum to be rigidly structured by category and topic.

Life is chaotic enough as it is, I don't need this on my daily GDNet rounds [wink]

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Actually, I was planning not to have the forum_id concept. Each forum would become a "predefined view" - effectively a saved set of tags that work as a 'filter' - along with a set of tags to be automatically applied to any new thread created through that view. (edit: which I've just re-read is pretty much what you were proposing.)

This would let people who didn't really know what they wanted to look at still browse the forums, and provide some initial categorisation to threads that people don't bother tagging themselves, but still preserve the flexibility of a full tagging system.

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I've been thinking this approach is the most logical one for quite some time now. Tree-based hierarchies are so much less functional. However you need a fairly decent structure to the basic set of tags for it to be useful though, and some restrictions on their use so that some topics don't fall through the cracks while other ones appear in everybody's view.

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