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I hate the colors. What do I do?

At the far bottom of the page, on the left, is a menu or link that says, "Forum Default." Click on that and choose a different Style.

The XenForo Test Forum!

Discussion in 'New Forum Stuff' started by pete, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    The test forum is available for testing at http://www.woodwindforum.com/testforum. I've spent a few ... hundred ... or so hours on it so far, so please don't just post that you hate it. Constructive criticism, problem reports, and feature requests are very welcome.

    Several notes:

    * I agree: posting pictures is not exactly intuitive. However, it's actually quicker than here, once you get used to it. Here's a video that shows you how to do it: http://vimeo.com/13955213
    * I've loaded all the Elegance 2 Styles (colors, layout, etc.), however only Elegance 2 (Blue - Forum Default) has my customizations.
    * After you login, you can change the Style by clicking on the extreme lower left corner of the screen (which should say "Elegance 2 (Blue - Default)") or going to the direct link.
    * I will get a dark Style in the near future.
    * Yes, I know that some of the links to other sections of the forum take you back here. That's intentional. I haven't run the database replace function to fix the links. I'll do that for the final version.
    * No, all our current smileys haven't been uploaded. It's labor intensive and Helen will do that when the final version of the forum is open.

    Note that anything you post to the test forum will not be saved.
    I also will not post when I'm shutting down the forum to try new things, install updates, etc.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2016
  2. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    The "Mall" area has two layout elements that I kinda like:

    * Custom "node" icons.
    * Compact layout.

    In other words, this:

    Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 1.17.26 PM.png

    Instead of this:

    Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 1.19.26 PM.png

    I will be working on more custom icons in the near future. If you have something you'd like, go ahead and request it here. The size is 72x72 144x144 pixels and I need to have at least two, but preferably four, variations on that image: read, unread, page, and link.

    I'm not 100% sold on the compact layout. I've talked to the designer and he said he'll make some changes in the next version of the Style.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2016
  3. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    I've also talked with Jim and Helen. We're thinking of making a permissions change: we'd like you to post in your user title what instrument(s)/discipline your specialty is. Play only sax? List "Sax." You can save anything else for your signature line. We're not making it a requirement, though. I just think it might be helpful. So, as an example, my avatar now looks like:

    Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 1.42.09 PM.png

    Our Content Experts will get the "Staff Member" banner and a "Content Expert" banner (I'll customize those in the future). Saxhound and any future moderators will get the "Staff Member" and a custom "Moderator" banner (on the final forum). Our administrators will have banners that look like mine. Our Distinguished Members will also get an orange banner that says "Distinguished Member."
  4. saxhound

    saxhound Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    I like the look. It's clean and easy to navigate. I also like the "Our most" buttons at the top.
  5. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    We have the "top 5" thing here on the vBulletin forum. There wasn't an exact equivalent in Xenforo, but the "plugin" I'm using in Xenforo has a bunch more options than the "top 5" "plugin" in vBulletin. I also kinda like the "tabbed" layout because it saves a lot of space.
  6. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    I've finished installing all the Graphite (dark) Styles. That's the original and eight variations. I'm quite fond of the gray and orange. I think all the greens and blues look a bit too similar to each other. The pink would work out famously if we had Piwigo gallery and used the default theme, as they're very similar.

    Again, note that all my customizations are currently only in the Elegance 2 (Blue - Forum Default) Style.
  7. Helen

    Helen Content Expert Saxophones Staff Member Administrator

    I've been trying to look at all the various Graphite styles, but keep getting distracted by lots of puppy and birdy chores. I haven't yet been able to look at them all. Whatever we choose, it should be something that has the links in in a lighter colour--for ease of readability. IIRC, the light green, grey and orange all share that feature, but I need to look at all of them and then compare/contrast.
  8. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    As far as font colors, that's easy to change: just show me what you'd like. The hard part was getting the backgrounds to look right -- they have interesting fade effects and stuff -- which is why I eventually said, "Gee, it'd be worth $29 just so I don't have to try to find where all those settings are."


    My "production" rollout plan is going to be something like ...

    * Install generic forum
    * Transfer data
    * Fix user permissions
    * Open forum
    * Install and configure Add-Ons
    * Install Styles
    * Configure default Styles
    * Configure non-default Styles

    ... and that'll start when I have my next vacation days, which I haven't yet scheduled.

    Y'all may have noticed that I've been building custom icons for each forum area. For whatever reason, these icons do not trickle down to child styles, so I have to re-add them for each Style. That's not massively time consuming -- I have to build 8 icons for whichever area and I can then use those icons multiple times -- but I have to find the icon (I'm using both Font Awesome and another company whose name escapes me, ATM), then customize it -- primarily, just changing colors to match.


    I also have to control myself because I could easily start using Steven Universe (current favorite animated show) icons for certain areas. There are a lot of those available.
  9. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    I'm likin' the soft green color screen, not that it matters -- all the choices are solid. I do see a lot of people in my subgroups (following, friends, etc.) who no longer are participating (like sideC). Kinda makes me sad, but so goes it.
  10. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Playing around with the Postbit.

    vBulletin style:

    Screen Shot 2016-09-11 at 4.58.26 PM.png

    Xenforo style:

    Screen Shot 2016-09-11 at 5.03.34 PM.png

    The upthrust is that the user avatar 'n' banner are moved. I kinda like the vBulletin style a bit more ...
  11. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    I've had some fun with category glyphs and icons. I've also found a plugin that puts the last poster's avatar on the front page.

    Screen Shot 2016-09-18 at 9.03.23 AM.png

    As always, most of these visual enhancements are only in the Elegance 2 (Blue - Forum Default) style. I'll get to the other styles at some point after we go live with the new forum.
  12. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Do you have a feel for how the test site is performing? Will the new platform be more efficient or need more computer time? Any crashes yet?
  13. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Haven't seen any crashes. Server error log says, "No errors have been logged." I've only seen slowness when I ask XenForo to add something on the admin side. However, this is because XenForo has to go through all the styles I've loaded to add those changes.

    According to some folks' reviews of XenForo vs. vBulletin, XenForo uses a large percentage less resources (it was either 20% or 40%, IIRC) and was overall faster at loading pages.

    I haven't seen any spam. Allegedly, XenForo has good built-in spam management. I think I might have to test that with a fake account, but I just haven't bothered, yet.

    I initially had some log in problems, primarily because I use a password manager, but after I disabled dual-factor authentication, I didn't have any more log in problems. I do get booted off the forum after being inactive for a few minutes, but I'm sure I can find and change that setting.
  14. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    I've seen that on other forums, it's very annoying.
  15. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    I added this today, after updating to the newest version of XenForo/XenForo Gallery. Avatars in quotes:


    Hey, I sometimes take pleasure in the tiny things.
  16. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    I'm trying out recording a couple of "how to" videos and include some written instructions. You can check the three I did today at http://www.woodwindforum.com/xenforo_swf.

    1. These are Adobe Flash videos. You need to use a browser that has Flash baked in, like Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, or download the add-on. (FWIW, XenForo does require you to use Flash for at least one feature.)
    2. I'm using a free piece of software called Jing. I have approximately 2.5 hours experience with it, so don't expect a Steven Speilberg-level production.
    3. To pause the video, right click on it and uncheck "Play."

    I did change my cursor size and color and tried to shrink the windows after my first video. Yes, I have a very large monitor. Sorry. I'll probably keep text and video separate, in the future, and use XenForo's very nice Help system to keep track of everything.

    If you have a feature you'd like me to video-ize, RSVP.
  17. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    I did a re-record on the "how to post" video, this time the screen size is 1280x720, which is probably bare minimum resolution for any monitor currently sold, and I changed my written notes to on-screen stickies. I think it came out moderately neat-o.

    I'd love to be able to edit videos. I have to completely re-record if I make a mistake. Anyone want to buy me a copy of Camtasia Studio? It's only $300 :D.
  18. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Used Camtasia at Amazon for training videos. It was easy to use and created nice vids. Boy that takes me back.
  19. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Well, if I'm very efficient with my use of the Camtasia trial, I could probably belt out all the training vids we need.
  20. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Latest update ...

    I'm on vacation from December 19 through the 22nd. We are planning to go live with the new forum then. However, this is based on the hope that I have to change three or four settings, do a database import, and it'll just work. I have dental, doctor, eye, and car appointment all set up for me that week and I think I have a doctor and dental appointment set for Daughter 2.0 that week, so I'll be a bit busy.

    If the forum change-over fails, we'll just go back to this one for awhile, so no worries :).
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