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New Updates to the LDSTech Forum Software Twitter Facebook Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The LDSTech Forum software has upgraded to phpBB instead of vBulletin. This is the first major forum software update since the forums were first implemented in 2007.

LDSTech Forum

To view the LDSTech Forum, click Forum on the top navigation bar. The new forum software has a number of advantages:

Better forum filters

You can select four main filters to view the latest forum activity: View Unanswered Posts, View Unread Posts, View New Posts, and View Active Topics. These options appear near the top, above the list of subforums. Especially helpful for forum moderators, these filters help you better monitor forum activity.

Single sign on

The forums now have single-sign-on integration with LDS Account. This means you won't have to sign in as often as you did before. If you're already signed in to, for example, you won't need to re-sign in to LDSTech.

Design consistency

The forum layout and design now fits in seamlessly with the other parts of LDSTech — namely, the wiki, blog, and projects section. The colors, layout, and typography all have a consistent unity.

Part of this unity means the forums have a fixed rather than fluid layout. If you prefer the fluid layout, you can select this layout option in the Board Preferences section of the User Control Panel. In the My board style menu, select LDSTech-fluid.

Feeds for subforums

To stay updated with specific subforums, you can subscribe to feeds either for the entire forum or for specific subforums. This allows you to stay updated about topics that matter to you. Unfortunately, the feed icons aren't visible in the interface. However, if you use Chrome, you can install an extension such as the RSS Subscription Extension to better see feeds. This extension will show an orange feed icon feeds for forums in your address bar when you're browsing the forum. If you don't want to use this method, just copy a forum URL into a feed reader such as Google Reader. Most feed readers will automatically discover the feed and allow you to subscribe to it.

Bookmarks for threads

If you're reading a thread and want to bookmark it for later viewing, scroll down and click the Bookmark topic button at the bottom of the thread. This allows you to easily return to threads that you're interested in following.

In the same area, you can also subscribe to the thread to stay updated through e-mail with new posts. You can manage both your bookmarks and subscriptions from the User Control Panel.

Bookmark Topic

Symbols for discussions

If a forum thread has a particularly high number of threads, an animated symbol appears to the left of the thread to indicate that it's a hot topic. This can help alert you to threads that are particularly active. This symbol is just one of many to indicate the state of the thread. The following legend can help you identify different thread symbols.

Image - Announcement
Image - Sticky topic
Image - Read topic
Image - Unread topic
Image - Read topic that you have posted in
Image - Unread topic that you have posted in
Image - Read hot topic
Image - Unread hot topic
Image - Read forum with subforums
Image - Unread forum with subforums

 Image - Attachment
Image - Go to last post in the topic
Image - Go to last unread post in the topic
Image - Subforum read
Image - Subforum unread

In general, red icons indicate unread items, while blue or gray icons are read. A small star in the upper right on any topic means you have posted in it. A hot topic is one with more than 25 replies.

Advanced search

You can search with more advanced filters, selecting to search in a specific subforum and including or excluding specific words. This can help you more easily find topics you're looking for. To perform an advanced search, click the Advanced Search link in the upper-right corner.

Easier administration

The browser-based admin panel makes it easy for forum administrators to configure and edit the forum options, as well as apply upgrades and other enhancements as phpBB rolls out new versions.

If you have feedback about the new LDSTech Forum, let us know. If you're interested in participating more regularly in the forums, consider subscribing to the LDSTech forum feed so you can actively monitor new posts.



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