I’m making my way around Discourse/SuttaCentral. I very much like it, however, there is one thing which I am having a little bit of difficulty with—everyone looks like new members.
It would be great if, in the small pop-up box (when you click on a user’s profile icon), along with ‘Last post’ and ‘Joined’, there would also be ‘ received’ and ‘Posts’.
Knowing someone’s past activity has many uses, and while the join date can be used for this, it may simply mean that the account was created, but the user hasn’t posted much or hasn’t really returned. Also, I guess you could go to the full profile page of each member, but doing this takes quite a lot of time compared to simply clicking on the profile icon.
A few reasons why ‘ received’ and ‘Posts’ are useful:
If you see that a member is new, it can help you understand his/her posts better, or more importantly, adjust your replies accordingly (be more helpful).
Vice versa with long-time contributors.
Knowing that a user has participated and been here for quite some time—and even more so if he/she has lots of likes, or more likes than posts—can help you pinpoint good users, so you can read more of their posts, or read their posts more carefully.
Having lots of posts but very little likes might be a small reminder to try and post more valuable content (quality rather than quantity), or to improve the quality of your posts in general.
Something along the lines of (I hope you don’t mind if I use your profile, Ayya Vimala ):
On facebook (dare I mention it!) when you hover over a user’s avatar you get a popup/flyout like the screenshot above.
I’m not sure if that’s what @samseva is suggesting, but I’d find it useful. Plus, I’ve been conditioned by the facebook overloards so I ‘expect’ it to happen here.
Yes, I do this, but it’s quite laborious and you have to exit the thread page you were reading (also, please see next reply).
Yes, that’s it. You just have to click on the user’s icon and a small rectangle box pops up. It’s really useful to know a little about the poster (especially the short intro, and if posts and likes are added, you could know about user’s participation/contribution on SC).
I thought it was something that was easily modifiable (I’ve been reading around on meta.discourse.org ). Maybe if a post is made there, they code provide the 1-2 lines of code to add to SC.
If you’re interested in providing feedback to the devs of this forum software, please see https://meta.discourse.org/. My limited experience there has found that the developers themselves are responsive to one’s suggestions and feedback.
I just had a check of the Admin options, and can’t see anything like this. We run a pretty vanilla version of Discourse, just a bit of theming and SC integration plugin. You can try meta, see what they have to say.
Apropos of nothing, working on the new site, I always remember something I read somewhere, that building software in the browser is the single most developer-hostile environment ever created. You have to use these languages created for quite different purposes, and cobble them together to make something that works on billions of different devices, of all sizes and shapes, different connectivity, different software, different user settings, with all the viruses and hacks and dependencies and plugins that can break anything any time. It’s amazing that anything works!
Sure, you can modify anything you want, it’s all open source. But see above!
Oh, and also, hover doesn’t work for touchscreens, so even if you make such a change, you have to figure out how to handle that.
I’m on Safari (laptop) and while hovering doesn’t do anything, clicking once on users’ icon brings up the small rectangular pop-up (the one I was talking about), and clicking another time opens up a new page with the user’s main profile info.
If you are doing this yourself, then full sympathies.
And it’s turtles all the way down. Even at the hardware/silicon level, where decades of cruft are held together by duct-tape and entrenched managers demand results by yesterday. Currently, the worst practices are present in the smartphone industry where use-and-throw-away has become the motto, fuelling a culture of planned obsolescence by manufacturers.
No, we have wonderful developers who do the hard work. I just offer “moral support” (i.e. tell them it doesn’t work and change the design half way through!)
I always try to bear this in mind when dealing with developers. Even though I can’t program, I make it a point to mess around with code, get my hands dirty, have some feel for what’s actually going on. Still, we do have the advantage of not worrying too much about legacy support. We’ve always been future-oriented in development, and luckily there are legacy sites that can serve people who are stuck on IE6.
Yes, this is a huge problem for the planet. It’s not so bad for front-end development, because you can assume that most mobile users will have devices that aren’t too old.
I talked about this to my friend Dustin once, who used run an IT manufacturing company. He just laughed and said, of course, yes that’s what everyone does. You can understand it from a business point of view, but it is really harmful when it’s the standard practice in such a prominent industry.
It isn’t a good idea. However, from the discussion and from reading articles on Jeff Atwood’s blog (the lead creator of Discourse), he clearly is kind of a genius, and really innovative, with online discussion groups—from the platform and all the way to the psychology of it. Matt Mullenweg/WordPress kind of genius.
I don’t know the future, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Discourse catches on even more than Stack Exchange (which he partly developed and owned), and to some degree like WordPress.
But it is a fascinating read on what happens when users start to behave in a “like-seeking” way. One of the nice things about Discourse is that it’s built by people with experience in multiple generations of discussion platforms, and who have learned their lessons and bake them into the software as much as possible. No forum can survive without careful and considerate moderation (shout out to our wonderful moderators!), but Discourse makes it as easy as possible.
Then next generation will be using AI to moderate and manage discussion; of course this is already happening on FB, Youtube, and so on, with mixed results. Aussie Youtubers are up in arms right now, because the algorithm punishes them for swearing too much!