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BOOK: ASP.NET 2.0 Website Programming Problem Design Solution ISBN: 978-0-7645-8464-0
This is the forum to discuss the Wrox book ASP.NET 2.0 Website Programming: Problem - Design - Solution by Marco Bellinaso; ISBN: 9780764584640
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old March 31st, 2007, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by 99mary
 Good work jimi.
The Forum now simply excellent!
There was quite well add else voting, as well as searching for on forum.
But anyone have done the choice Avatars (in existing versions this uncomfortably). Necessary to provide possibility of the loading on server and choice with server already.
Mary,

I've actually now added searching (top right) onto my version and am 90% of the way there with it functionally. just tweaking the sql and the cacheing methods but you can try it out in action at my test location (the search box accepts multiple entries with a space between each) :

http://www.jamestollan.com/Default.aspx

i'm just going to add a further webpart under the search to report top searches/last 10 searches etc...)

glad you're happy with the mods so far..

jimi



  #32 (permalink)  
Old March 31st, 2007, 03:32 PM
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Mary

I have indeed added some new and quite simple functionality to the avatar choosing fields in the profile page. I haven't uploaded it yet however. You're right the stock avatar functionality is essentially worthless as it requires the user to intuit somehow the file structure of the site.

Pat

http://weboperahouse.com
  #33 (permalink)  
Old April 2nd, 2007, 01:35 AM
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jimi
wish on page BrowseThreads.aspx.cs
at opening closing the Threads add
gvwThreads.DataBind();

  #34 (permalink)  
Old April 2nd, 2007, 08:08 PM
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I added a Drop Down Menu with the images of about twenty five Avatars. The user clicks on their choice and pushs the button.

If they want their own picture file I have a way for them to upload a file and semi-auto fill in the Avatar Url text box.

I could do more with this but its enough for me now. Considering how simple all this is it took more time than I intended.

Take a look. Make up a member.

Pat

BTW
Yesterday I posted on a favorite blog. I looked this morning to see if anyone replied. Indeed one of the scientists said I was - and I quote - "Ugly and your feet stink".

This kicked off a raging controversy. With dozens of posts.

See I told you that people are nicer here

http://weboperahouse.com
  #35 (permalink)  
Old April 3rd, 2007, 09:14 AM
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Hi Jimi,

I really like what you did with the forum. Can we use your code freely ?
How did you do your search ?
I implemented a full text search box on my site, but it's not the best way to go.

One suggestion for the forum : add an alt to your images (so when you hover the announcement, sticky or hot item, you can see what it means.

grtz

koen


  #36 (permalink)  
Old April 3rd, 2007, 02:28 PM
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koen,

yes, use the code as you please. i really got stuck into that part (forums)
 to get a mixture of familiarity and experience with tbh. i'll probably make further tweaks along the way and if they're of a nature that can be easily separated, then will post those as and when i can.

re the search funtionality - that was actually quite simple (tho' a bit convoluted) in the end. i'll have a look at what i did and detail the steps. i could of course attempt to post it here as a 2nd phase of post/forum extension. i'll have a think as i'm actually now working 'for real' on the site that i'm building, so a lot of other core logic is now involved and it's not so easy to rip out as it was last week (may have a backup from end of last week when search was implemented on vanila tbh).

anyway

jimi

  #37 (permalink)  
Old April 4th, 2007, 10:28 AM
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Jimi,

Thanks for the code. I implemented your forum priority functions so that now I too have Stickys and Announcements.

I must be a genius. I started this thread with the idea of upgrading the Beer House forum to make it more competitive with vBulletin and/or Community Server. I have succeeded beyond my expectations. The basic Marco functionality plus the brilliant Jimi additions and my own few modest cosmetic improvements have yielded an excellent "little" forum.

The Marco/Jimi forum now should be good enough for most web sites except those that are truly forum sites.

Yes I'm clearly a genius. I'm pondering my next trick.

TBH forum differs from most others in that it doesn't have much of a separate administrative dash board. The big commercial forum software advertise that their products have a very comprehensive dashboard. That's how one did it five years ago. Indeed that's how I did with my own forum variant back then. Today however with .NET 2.0 we have role based security built in. This allows TBH forum to have only one set of pages with a couple different sets of of controls whose visibility is role dependent. At first I found this approach odd, but now I've come to appreciate it.

TBH forum in the book is ugly. The forum follows few of the design conventions used throughout the web. Forum devotees will hardly even recognize the stock forum as a forum at all. Fortunately that's an easy modification. Drop the pictures and just have a forum page that looks like a grid.

Jimi's addition of priorities to the Post table are real improvements. Virtually every other forum on the web (including this one from WROX) has Stickys. This is an upgrade without tradeoffs. I'm less comfortable with Jimi's addition of new fields to the Forum table. He adds a couple new fields that hold summary counts from the Post table. These values can be retrieved from the Post table dynamically. This may or may not impose a performance penalty. I think the simpler approach may be more appropriate for a design aimed at "little" forums.

TBH forum has no thread table. It has only a Forum table and a Post table. A thread is defined implicitly by the ParentPostID field with a value of zero. This structure is more like the database structure of a blog than a threaded forum. That's good because blog-like forums (flat unthreaded) are now the most popular kind. Indeed the ShowThread page has a Quote button. Quoting is a feature of blogs and unthreaded forums. It is not needed very much with a threaded forum where every response is to a previous posting.

TBH forum also supports avatars but rather crudely. The user is asked for a URL. The stock Beer House file structure has a folder for avatars and a folder for a user's uploads but the stock EditProfile page doesn't explain that. For some forum topics this is easy to remedy with a collection of stock images. For example, on my opera themed site I have a couple dozen opera cartoons and opera singer photos. Its easy then to add a drop down so the user can add a picture as his avatar. This wouldn't work very well with more general topics. TBH also has a nice little user control that uploads files to a known location. This can be included in the EditProfile acsx with some explanatory text. Then anyone can have any avatar they want.

In summary I think that with the addition of Stickys and some other improvements the Beer House forum is sufficient. The only serious omission now is search and that isn't very hard. If I were developing a pure forum site I would use Community Server. If I were developing a general site that needed a supplementary forum, I would just plug in the Beer House (enhanced) forum.


Pat

http://weboperahouse.com
  #38 (permalink)  
Old April 4th, 2007, 12:04 PM
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Pat,

Glad you liked the improvements. I agree with the 'useage' of the tbh forum. i.e. if in use on a site where the forum is a component addition but not the main driver of the site, then this is the way to go. only other modification that i'd like to make (but may not have to do) would be to add a forums 'grouping' page that allowed forums to be grouped by category/interest. as i said, for another time.

i have indeed more or less finalised my search routines against the forum (and will create a similar metaphor against articles at some point soo). however, i'm not sure if i'll be able to extract them in isolation of the other changes to the forum that was made, so any update to the forum zip would be inclusive of everything else that's been done to date, together with the search stuff. of course, it wouldn't be too difficult to get a fresh install and just put the seacrch functions against that (removing any references to the new Priority filed in posts). i'd obviously like to see how others have done this too mind you as my method (which is full-text search) is not the optimum solution. however, it's coded as such to allow for full-text index searching should the database permit it.

anyway - looking fwd to seeing further enhancements on top of mine in due course.


jimi

http://www.jamestollan.com
  #39 (permalink)  
Old April 9th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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i really like the chages to the forum. Thanks for this contribution.

I will keep the images though but on 30x30 size under the RSS hyperlink.

It would be great if you could see the forum with categories ex:

Cars
- VW
- BMW

Choppers
- x
- y

and in the latest topics you coud see the lates topic and the last message that was left in that topic.

:D
  #40 (permalink)  
Old April 10th, 2007, 04:04 AM
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kherrerab - yes, my main bugbear left is the grouping issue as well on the forum page. might have a go at that at some point (just adding another table above tbh_Forums). perhaps the 2nd suggestion you had might be a good one too with a little abstract of the 1st 50 words of the latest message being shown for example.

i'm all up for anyone implementing any of the above enhancements and posting the zip back to me to integrate into the original ForumsUpdate1.3.zip for everyone to access.


jimi

http://www.jamestollan.com
 


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