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New forum software coming soon.. tagging anyone?

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Michael Tanczos


We're going to start seeing some of the benefits of switching over to an off-the-shelf forum system very soon. Invision Power Systems, the company that makes our forum software, is currently beta testing the next version of their forum suite right now on their site at http://community.invisionpower.com

Under the hood we actually use IP.Board for our forums, IP.Blog for our journals, IP.Nexus for our subscriptions, IP.Downloads for the Marketplace, and IP.Content for just about everything else (front page, news, resources, dictionary, books, developer events, IOTD, showcase). While I feel somewhat like one of those Apple fanboys when I post this (you know you are one if you drool over every new thing Apple comes out with), Drew thought it would be a good idea to give you guys a heads up.

You can see the interface is much more streamlined and they have gone to great lengths to remove a lot of the cruft that they added with version 3.1. We are most likely seeing this new software integrated into our site sometime Q4 of this year. We need to do this to allow the dust settle on this major revision and give IPS a chance to iron out a lot of the bugs before we throw it onto you guys. We're really looking forward though to new features like tagging and prefixes to help us begin to organize content across our site in a better way than just the strict category format we use now.

Here is the full list of changes:

So what do you guys think? Check out their site.
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Terribly uninformed question here: are there many GDNet-specific customizations in the software? If so, how do you handle updates like this? SVN Merge?

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Could you fix Articles RSS?
Every few days I'm getting 10-15 articles from this channel, that would not be a problem except that these articles are 10-12 years old !!

Today at 2:46 I got 15 of them, one of them is "Advanced raycasting techniques":
>> [color="#9E9E9E"][size="2"]Published Dec 02 1999 03:05 AM in [url="http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/reference/programming/140/283/"]General[/url] [/size][/color]

On June 4 I also got about 15 of them, for example this: "[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]
[b][url="http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/reference/programming/140/texture-mapping/texture-mapping-mania-r852?"]Texture Mapping Mania[/url]"[/b]

[color="#9E9E9E"][size="2"]Published Nov 18 1999 12:44 PM in [url="http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/reference/programming/140/texture-mapping/"]Texture Mappin[/url][/size][/color]




* SNIP *

Annoying right? Now you know how I felt for the last few months, I get this spam from YOU gamedev.net every few days.[/size][/color]

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Looking forward to the new text editor very much, it'll be good to have something that works sensibly most of the time rather than the current buggy implementation, and the ability to easily add new plug-ins for things like our source-code highlighter will be a blessing.

Tagging and prefixes should allow some much needed improvement to the organisation of Help Wanted as well. [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif[/img]

Any progress updates on what you guys have been working on personally, or still just disinteresting updates and bug-fixes?

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Boo.. RSS subscriptions aren't mandatory so it's not like we're forcing this upon you. Right now RSS is broken for articles (as is search) as far as I'm concerned.. we'll probably have to rewrite portions of it to get it working the way we want. We can't just hack away at the core source code though as we're trying to maintain our ability to upgrade our site as IPS releases new versions of their software.

Right now the fact that they could do everything they did do is something we really couldn't hope to have done ourselves with our limited staff. They can at least ensure that we'll be able to keep up with the core site.

jb - Right now we've been working on bug and content fixes.. Drew for example is going through and hand-editing almost 2500 articles with a few other people. We also have to finish completely migrating away from our old ISP.. we had a contract with them that expires this month.

Our long term plans for this year are to focus on getting content back on track.. even content we don't have but should (stuff for casual games / mobile development, xna/directx), addressing help wanted in a more professional setting was discussed. I implemented tagging directly into the IP.Content databases (this would impact articles, IOTD, showcase, dictionary, events, news) that would allow us to quickly pull all content items of any type related to a particular tag. Our ultimate goal is to begin creating topic-based hubs (say XNA) that will show XNA forum topics, blogs, articles, etc. If you have a certain interest our goal is to simplify how you access the site by concentrating that information around one specific place. That takes the guess work out of having to know everything our site has to offer.

We're looking at this year as a major rebuilding year for us.. and it's the first in a long time where we actually have made legitimate steps forward in getting our site to where it needs to be. So things like having an outside company work on the core forum suite lets us focus more on the content side. This summer is going to be an interesting one in terms of seeing what we can pull off.

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Looks nice. Editor improvements are always welcome, and the instant topic update notification is something I'm getting used to in Facebook and Gmail.

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