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you can now modify the home page to be what you like best

 
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If you look at the top of the forum home page, you will see a dropdown box featuring "default view" and a button "change view".

And then when you look at "my profile" | "site personalization" | "manage dashboard choices" you will see how you can make your own home page.  

Hot off the press.  I suspect there will be lots more whizbangery coming soon.
 
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I like being able to adjust the dashboard to full width for recent topics in the new view.  
I would like to have the option also of seeing 'recent topics' without the pictures and in the same arrangement as the old recent topics.
I would like to have it 'remembered' by the site so I won't have to choose a view each time I log on.
 
gardener
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In the other thread Paul requested feedback on the new custom forum views to be posted over here, and indicated he wasn't seeing any in that thread.  I took that to mean he did not see this feedback, so I'm putting it here as requested:

Dan Boone wrote:Because of the vertical height preserved for photo thumbnails, the custom "recent topics full view" now available only shows 7 topics at a time on my 19" monitor, which means many scrolls to view the fifty most recent topics as shown by the "recent topics" link we've all been using to date.  In the old view, I can currently see 17 topics at a time without scrolling.  It is MUCH harder to take in recent activity rapidly in the new view -- a problem which the distraction of the thumbnails (too small to make out what's going on in them and too large to visually ignore) only makes worse.  

In order to make the new view match the functionality of the old, it would need a vertically-condensed mode with option to not display thumbs.

[deleted stuff about the link that's going away]

The most important information after the thread title is the "latest post by" name, because that's how I track whether someone has replied to a thread I posted to an hour ago.  In the custom "recent topics full view" that information is posted in a much-reduced font size, making it impossible for me to scan for at speed with my aging eyes.  For that view to be as useful to me, that font would have to be restored to equal size with the thread title.

 
pollinator
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Seems I posted on the other thread just after Paul posted he was going to ignore that thread. So...

Devin Lavign wrote:OK, so just tossing this out. Something I like about the recent topic pages of forums is being able to tell when a new comment is made so I can stay up on conversations, reply to stuff if someone has replied to me, etc.

Something not in the permies site that is in many other forums is an indicator of some sort of unread comments. At least I haven't seen it here on old view or new view. So here I have relied on sort of keeping track of who the last comment was made by, and if it changes I know some new comments are on there. This new dashboard doesn't show the last commenter and doesn't have any indicator of unread comments that I have noticed.

Maybe if possible adding something to let people quickly and easily see there are new unread comments in threads? Most forums tend to have some sort of icon appear next to the thread title, not sure if this would be easy to implement or really hard. So just making a suggestion.

I understand Paul's likely kicking stuff and yelling at his computer, introducing new stuff to a website is never fully popular. Thankfully I signed up just as the new look was being released, so quickly just adopted it to get used to it. But I have seen lots of forums have issues in the community when they adopt changes. Some people like new features and embrace change, others freak out and get confused.

Hang in there Paul. Sorry for not trying the dashboard thing before my first comment. But at least I did mention it and recognize there indeed was such an option rather than scream the sky is falling. And I am able to admit that the dashboard personalization while might take a little time getting used to I might actually like better.

 
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Of the new home page views, I like "Recent Topics Full Width" best for quick overview of what's been going on.  It's similar to the old Recent Topics page in many ways and has the same information.  

I have two main interests in this.  One is pure self-interest (how can I make it easier for me) and the other is a little bit enlightened self-interest (how can we make it easier for awesome contributors who may be less internet save or have slow connections).

  • For me, having little clusters of text and then big space then tiny text saying what forum in it, makes it a bit difficult to read.  I think if the text was spread out a bit more horizontally, we might be able to get more topics listed per page scroll.  It doesn't matter so much on the PC, but seeing it on the tablet, I have to scroll down a bunch more than I prefer.  With my PIE preferences turned on, all the relevant information is there.  Having different coloured text makes it a bit easier to read than if it was all the same colour (poster name, date, &c).  
  • The thumbnails don't add anything for me.  Perhaps turning them off in this view could be a PIE feature?  I do, however, like the thumbnails in the other views.
  • Having the alternating colours is very helpful for separating the different topics.
  • I am extremely fond of it telling me how many photos and videos are in that thread.  If I'm on a slower connection I can wait 'till I get home to view the photo and video heavy threads.
  • Having the site remember my preferences would be a huge help and reduce frustration tremendously! I much prefer to navigate the site with the links in the site than via bookmarks.


  • I noticed that some users have trouble figuring out what I imagine to be a simple thing like email preferences - would these same users have trouble understanding that they can change their view?  Would them not understanding that they can change their view interfere with their experience of the site?
  • How efficient is it for people with slow or limited internet connection?  Is there any way to make it easier for them?

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    pollinator
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    Add one more vote for reducing the vertical space waste in Recent-Full-View.

    "Recent" is really the stand out choice for almost all browsing. Favoring function over frills here would seem to make all kinds of sense. I wouldn't miss the thumbs at all if they were lost as collateral damage to fully utilizing vertical space for actual info.


    Rufus
     
    pollinator
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    I'm using the recent full width view and I would like to be able to see who started and who most recently posted on a thread, if that's possible.

    There are some people whose posts I usually want to read, even if the topic seems uninteresting at first, and being able to see who's involved in the soon to go away "recent topics" view has been helpful.
     
    Judith Browning
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    I would like to be able to see who started and who most recently posted on a thread, if that's possible.



    This is an option available with PIE, among several others to customize your view.  

    I wonder if it could be included in the view for everyone rather than an add on?
     
    Judith Browning
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    Yesterday I customized my 'dashboard' and added a view called 'recent topics full width'.  I checked the box that said 'share' and now I wonder if that is showing up in everyone's dashboard?  It wasn't among the original three views.

    r ranson said....

    Of the new home page views, I like "Recent Topics Full Width" best for quick overview of what's been going on.  It's similar to the old Recent Topics page in many ways and has the same information.  



    and I wonder how to delete one that I added that didn't work, called 'most recent'.....it only goes to an error notice and won't be helpful if it shows for everyone.


    EDIT  I see HERE that only PIE people and moderators can see 'shared' dashboards.  

    Lots to consider and learn and not always apparent....many who come here might not want to have to link here and there to understand how to use all of these new functions?
     
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    I'm finding this whole new view thing a massive step backwards
    Because I like the content and the atmosphere of the site I'm making an effort to understand it but it's very cluttered and unintuitive. I shouldn't have to learn a site. Those of us who have been here a while might make the effort but a bigger concern is new visitors are going to -in my opinion - not stick around
    The idea of getting rid of recent topics - which is actually the home page of my browser (as a clue to how much I like the status quo) - doesn't impress me.
    I've been thru the customising default view steps, It seems I've got a couple of settings for "I never view these topics" but I still get the big boring list of all the forums down the left had side taking up valuable screen real estate and cluttering my view.

    In the absence of a recent topics page, how do I get a list of all the recently made posts and the topics they are posted in?
    When I visit the site I want to be able to scan all the posts since my last visits, and be able to click on the ones that belong to topics I'm interested in. I don't see a way to replicate that functionality. I'd like to do this form my laptop, my tablet and my phone.

    I'm new to the "current" view. I'll give it a couple of days. Is it normal that I get thrown back into the old view for certain things like clicking on my profile or when typing a post?

    Please can we have a nice clean design where the page we are looking at deals mainly with the information relevant to that page. If for example I want to browse the growies forum (I never browse the frrums list by the way) then I would click on the forums link. I don't need to see growies, critters, building, etc every single time a page loads, its just wasted space.
     
    gardener
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    Okay, just some tweaks I'd suggest for the sortable tables.

    It took me a little bit to figure out how to sort the table. If you could change the background color for the sortable options it might help people recognize that row as more than just labeling. For those of you having trouble, click on the column you want to sort by. Each time you click on it (such as clicking on the last post column) it adjust the table.

    There's a lot of wasted space in the column for the forum names, while there's a shortage of space in the thread title column. Maybe you can adjust that to give the excess space to show more of the thread names?

    I actually agree that the recent topics link on the top of the page is much more inviting to new users, but I'll take the time to adjust to the new view for myself.
     
    Judith Browning
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    It took me a little bit to figure out how to sort the table. If you could change the background color for the sortable options it might help people recognize that row as more than just labeling. For those of you having trouble, click on the column you want to sort by. Each time you click on it (such as clicking on the last post column) it adjust the table.



    Casie, I saw that the buttons can adjust things but I can't get my head around what they are adjusting???   Each title button appears to go back and forth between two views and I can't get a grip on what they are. Last posts in each forum in alphabetical order....etc.....?
     
    Casie Becker
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    It seems like the forums get the posts from today and yesterday a little mixed up, but with the dates you switch between having the most recent post in each forum showing with the newest near either the top of the bottom.

    I just realized that you don't see multiple topics per forum, so (for instance) if two people posted about gardening you won't see both topics in the gardening forum. Considering how often I'm am participating in more than one discussion at a time in that forum, I could see this easily damaging the flow of discussions. It would be very easy to miss either an answer or a question that is relevant to my needs.
     
    Judith Browning
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    In the absence of a recent topics page, how do I get a list of all the recently made posts and the topics they are posted in?



    Looks like someone set it up... open the forum page, go to the scroll down thing to change the view and click on 'most recent topics as a table' and it's there  ...at least that option is there for those who have pie if I understand that correctly?

    Apparently if you have pie you can 'share' the view option that you come up with with other pie owners and staff.

    EDIT  in 'my profile' after a few clicks, I see that 'admin' set it up so everyone will have it now!    Thanks!

    ...now if that choice would just stay put when I leave the page and come back.  
    I also see that the page numbers are missing so it goes to the first page of a thread.
     
    r ranson
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    Once you've found the view you like best, you can set it as default in your "My Profile" and the forum main page will always appear that way... well, until you decide otherwise.

    I think this option is great that we can choose how we want to view the home page.

    I also worry that having to go to the profile settings is an extra step that isn't intuitive to all users.  Perhaps a cookie thing that remembers the desired view for each visit would work?  

     
    Judith Browning
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    Once you've found the view you like best, you can set it as default in your "My Profile" and the forum main page will always appear that way.



    thanks...I saw that and for some reason my brain didn't get it...I always like learning something new but might have just overloaded my system.
     
    steward
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    The latest version of duplicating the old "Recent Topics" is HERE

    Go there, and bookmark it for future use.
    Thank you Code Ranch !
     
    Devin Lavign
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    Thanks that tabled recent really gives all the info of recent page that is needed. I am trying out recent tabled at 75% with recents categorized at 25% to trying something other than just a copy of what recent page was. See if having more info available might be nice and useful.
     
    Judith Browning
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    John Polk wrote:The latest version of duplicating the old "Recent Topics" is HERE

    Go there, and bookmark it for future use.
    Thank you Code Ranch !



    and another 'thank you' to Code Ranch!

    I have this new view as my default and all is the same  and working wonderfully except the page count...is there something in my profile page that I should be setting that I haven't found or understood that would add that in for the threads that have more than one page?
     
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    [Maybe I took too long to hit submit, but I got an error when trying to post this.]

    The 'Recent as Sortable Table Full' view is the closest to what I want, but it has some problems.

    First, it should remember that I want it to be sorted by 'Last Post' descending.

    But actually, I don't want 'Last Post', I want links to the oldest post that *I* haven't yet read. It is annoying to have to scroll up and guess where to stop to see all the messages I haven't yet read. For an extended example, if a bunch of folks post on a thread, I might have to scroll all the way to the top of the page, then load the previous page, then scroll up a bunch more to get to the point I was last at in the conversation.

    As an aside, if your Ranchers want a cool challenge, have them figure out how to get rid of pages altogether. Have it load a few previous messages, and several next messages, then when I scroll it would dynamically load in the appropriate replies.

    Also, why do are the URLs not hackable? Example, the topic "Six Free Use of the Self Lessons over Skype for Permies--and help me finish my practicum" has the URL "/t/57116//Free-Lessons-Skype-Permies-finish" but it is in the "ergonomics" forum which has a URL of "/forums/forums/f-241/" - a hackable URL would be more like /forums/ergonomics/Free-Lessons... where if you delete all the text after /ergonomics you get the ergonomics forum listing page, and if you delete the "/ergonomics" part you get back to the forum home page. As it is now, if I delete the topic ID (57116) from the topic URL I get an error message.
     
    gardener & author
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    I've bookmarked:
    https://permies.com/forums?homepageView=19
    And it does look just like the previous "Recent Topics" in New View. It shows many topics in a nice tight text-y list, without space grabbed by thumbnails, thank you!

    I don't see place to click for further pages, though. Is that possible?

    I'm another user requesting the "First unread" feature that many other forums have. It would be very nice to enter a thread right at the point where I left off last time.

    Edited to add: Now I'm trying out Mobile View on my computer. This might load faster, don't you think?
     
    r ranson
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    Rebecca Norman wrote:

    I'm another user requesting the "First unread" feature that many other forums have. It would be very nice to enter a thread right at the point where I left off last time.



    This is a PIE feature that can be found in "My Profile", "PIE-only preferences".  Click "Navigate to the last post you have viewed" and if there has been a post since your last visit, the thread will automatically load to the new post.

    I really like the green line (another PIE feature) that shows me where I last read to in the thread.  
     
    Judith Browning
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    I'm using (and like) the 'most recent topics as table' view and have just noticed that besides no page numbers for threads that have more than one page, there is no apparent way to go back through pages of recent topics as there is in the old 'recent topics' with the numbered pages at the top and bottom right of the page.  It may be that as soon as I post this I'll see how to do that  
     
    John Polk
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    If you have PIE, there is a feature in your profile (PIE only preferences) that allows you to go directly to the first unread post in each listing.  See attached image to see how to enable this.  This feature draws a green line across the screen after the last post that you have read (which will be right above the point that you are taken to when you click the thread).
    Last-read-post.PNG
    [Thumbnail for Last-read-post.PNG]
     
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    I am technically challenged.  If I have to deal with links that are hidden, I can't find them.  What is intuitive to some is impossible for me.  True confessions here.  You wrote, "If you look at the top of the forum home page, you will see a dropdown box featuring "default view" and a button "change view". "  I can't find it.  I can use the old permies view.  I can't find my way around the new.  Remember, you are asking for feedback.

    I teach gardening to 70 - 80 people each week.  I can understand how to make plants flourish.  I can teach.  If you want to increase your visitors, they must be able to hit the ground running right out of the gate. We must to be able to see all the options as you have on the top of the old view.
     
    John Polk
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    If I have to deal with links that are hidden, I can't find them.


    CLICK  HERE
    (To go to the new Recent Topics page.)

    Bookmark the page so that you can go to it anytime.



     
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    I keep trying the new view, but just don't get along with it, so I'm sticking with the old view - simple and easy for me.

    One thing I find annoying is that if I'm viewing a page while not logged in (for instance when I'm on a computer at work - bad, bad toad that I am....) then decide to log in to comment, I am redirected to the home page after logging in and have to hunt for the thread I was viewing.  Any way to have it automatically send me back to the thread I was on after logging in?

    Cheers!  
     
    pollinator
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    This quirk bothers me too. What I do is login, and then hit the back button twice to go back to the original thread. If you then refresh/reload the page/thread, you will be logged in and can post.
     
    paul wheaton
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    Kelly Ravner wrote:I keep trying the new view, but just don't get along with it, so I'm sticking with the old view - simple and easy for me.



    In a few weeks I will turn off the old view.  

    If you did not try the new view, and make suggestions to make sure that the new view has the things you like, then you will be very unhappy.

     
    Kelly Ravner
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    paul wheaton wrote:

    In a few weeks I will turn off the old view.  

    If you did not try the new view, and make suggestions to make sure that the new view has the things you like, then you will be very unhappy.




    Oh no!!! The end times are upon us!      

    At the top of the page there appears a banner that says "You are currently on the old view. Why not go back to the current view."  "current view" is a link to the current view.  I have often wished the "Why not" was a link to the correct thread where I could answer the question.  I spend rather little time on the interwebs and have never wanted to use my precious minutes to search out the appropriate thread.  

    I have tried the new view, and recently purchased some pie so I could try modifying/customizing my view.  That helps, but mostly I just don't like how cluttered the new view is.  I come here for information, not fluff and entertainment.  In the old view I can quickly scan a whole page and get lots of information.  The new view seems designed to thwart that.  It seems specifically formed to divert attention hither and yon, with vast amounts of wasted empty space interspersed with widgets and do-dads that do nothing for me, all the while making a quick information dense scan of a page impossible.

    I also just don't want to spend a lot of time learning how to navigate the site - I can find better things to do.  The old view was very quick and easy to learn, took no time at all really.

    But you have quite a lot invested in this new do-dad rich version, so I don't expect you will be changing it back to something lean and streamlined anytime soon.  Maybe I'll get used to it.  Or maybe I'll just visit less often.  Either way, no need to waste any time being unhappy about it.    
     
    Casie Becker
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    The main page of the new view is malfunctioning for me. No matter which view style I select the same one forum topic with a long line of code showing in the table. The long line of code is an active link leading to https://permies.com/t/23500/missoula/Mark-Vander-Meer-Soils .

    I don't know if it makes a difference, but the topic is always shown as being in the hugelculture forum.
     
    steward
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    I fixed it. Thanks for the heads up Casie!
     
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