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Author Topic: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods  (Read 18504 times)

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Offline AdminTopic starter

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suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« on: November 04, 2008, 10:03:56 AM »
I'm in the mood to add new features to the forum and member tutorial pages. If anyone likes one of the mods on the below links, convince me its useful and it wouldn't be too hard for me to add it.

A few of you have been suggesting chat, you should find a few in the chat mods. Try out the chat mods and let me know what you think.

other forum mods:
http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/

member tutorial mods:
http://drupal.org/project/Modules

Offline airman00

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2008, 10:08:21 AM »
hey Admin

we have an IRC chatroom and HalfShell says we can use a Java IRC chat client on SoR
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Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2008, 10:50:35 AM »
Remember that 'security issue' about people using the username 'admin' for chat? If a forum mod is used, that issue no longer is a ummmm . . . issue :P

But I support what you guys decide!

Offline airman00

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2008, 11:44:50 AM »
IRC allows you to set passwords for your username , so other people can't take it
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Offline izua

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2008, 03:43:20 PM »
and usually admin is reserved by ircops.
Check out my homepage for in depth tutorials on microcontrollers and electronics.

Offline pomprocker

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2008, 04:20:08 PM »
I'd really like to see a wiki !!


collaboration tools....

Offline paulstreats

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2008, 06:26:25 PM »

[DREAM]
Its a shame there cant be a shop type system set up. Possibly similar to ebay buy it now. Where you can add your axon, airman00 could add his products, I could add some of mine. And other people who have created robot products could also sell them through an open shop on the forum using google checkout, paypal, worldpay or some other system. I'll bet before long there would be people offering basic components like resistors or header pins for sale. It could turn into like a big robotics market coupled with a support forum, and a general robotics forum.

If there was such a thing, the sellers would have to be forum members and log in a minimum number of times a week(except for preset holidays) or their products in the shop would be discontinued, since they obviously arent willing to provide support......

[/DREAM]

Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2008, 07:39:10 PM »
Way to go Paul! I want that too! I hope that soon I will be amongst those vendors...
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Offline izaktj

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2008, 11:49:55 PM »
Dang that would be cool  :D

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2008, 12:41:55 AM »
Hey Paul I like your idea, and it was similar to another less feasible idea I had already.

If I charged a $10/month fee (to cover my time, maintenance, and server costs), would that seem reasonable? In the member tutorials section I could create a products tutorial section so no one would have to run their own website, too.

And heck, if you can't make $10/month from your product, you shouldn't have ever made a product :P

Perhaps I could charge a little more and pool the money for group advertising of your products. I could also write up a tutorial on the best/cheapest way to ship robot parts.


Also, let me know when you guys have the chat decided and a test run for me to try out. I'll link it over when you think its ready.

Offline paulstreats

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2008, 06:04:17 PM »
Personally, I like the idea of comission payments like ebay. So you would take between 5 - 10 % of the value of goods sold. The only thing i dont like about ebay is having to pay a listing fee and pay shop fees.

I tried trading a few years ago with ebay, it was about $20 per month for the shop, then you paid a fee to list a product about 50c then a final value fee of about 8% if I remember right. Then there was the paypal commision fee of 3%. Everbody wants a piece of the pie (in fact ebay wants 3 pieces. Thats just greedy ;D).

It would just be good to see a fair market place dedicated to robotics style things. The reason why the commision system would work is that people could put things up to sell and know that they are only charged when something sells. Remember a robot market place would end up having people selling things like cheap header pins and stuff that they havent made themselves but managed to get on the cheap and pass them on. They wouldnt want to pay $10 a month, but they would be happy paying a commision when they sell....

also using a commision system can make SOR more money than just a fixed rate too!

I would like to see an active support forum with products removed if sellers dont provide support though.

If this is a serious idea, it might be a worthwhile poll topic, or get lots of opinions before implementing it.


Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2008, 12:39:24 AM »
Quote
ebay, it was about $20 per month for the shop, then you paid a fee to list a product about 50c then a final value fee of about 8% if I remember right. Then there was the paypal commision fee of 3%.
Thats just too complicated for a comparatively small website like SoR. And I don't like complex hidden fees anyway.

Whether the item you are selling is 10 cents, or $100, it takes the same amount of my time and server resources to manage the item. Since my costs are fixed, so would be the charge amount. I think anyone who is selling would like one simple flat fee more anyway.

Quote
I would like to see an active support forum with products removed if sellers dont provide support though.
Agreed. Only well documented/supported high quality products allowed. ;D

Anyway, if anyone develops a product they want to sell here, just contact me when you are ready and we can work together to set up a beta.

Offline Asellith

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2008, 10:06:27 AM »
I'm stealing this idea and I hope the guys don't hate me for it but. I have been trying to beta test a site call www.solderbynumbers.com. Well the idea is a social network setup around people like us. Well they want people like me to be designers who design a circuit and sell it to the other users and then we can all come together and enjoy conversations and all those social networky things. For every design I sell I get the list price of it ($5) and SchmartBoard sells you their boards. the design software on the site is really annoying and only supports their boards. I have been trying to make a $50 robot schematic that uses SMD parts for like 2 months and by the time I get 5 pins placed I've spent 25 minutes and am frustrated at the software. It is really slow and java based. They had a cool idea but bad implementation. It is a work in progress and might get better someday.

Ok now to my idea. Why not have a section on SOR that is more like a social network. Not sure what the server needs for this will be but... We could have areas to upload eagle parts files and pcbs that could be downloaded by all. A large catalog with individual parts and once a month or so they are all compiled into one unit and uploaded as a library. Same with google sketchup files. We would have different classifications that had different privileges to post things. Such as those that have written a tutorial are the only ones allowed to post files.

I have recently started my own website and know how much of a pain development can be. I think if we do this right with friend lists and personal home pages but all oriented towards robotics we can attract even more people and make the site more useful to those of us who are attached to the point where our lives are empty if we don't check it every couple of days.
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Offline sdavis6736

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2008, 06:34:57 PM »
How about having a page or a link to upcoming robot conventions and events.

Offline airman00

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2008, 06:36:02 PM »
How about having a page or a link to upcoming robot conventions and events.

http://www.societyofrobots.com/robot_conference.shtml
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Offline sdavis6736

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2008, 04:57:45 PM »
Duh!  I've been to this sight many times.  Don't know what i was thinking.  Thanks for the link and the memory, airman00.

Offline paulstreats

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2008, 06:11:09 PM »
I was on a forum not long ago where if somebody posted a reply to a topic, other members could rate them on wether their answers were helpful or unhelpful. This allows for another ratings sytem, the current one goes on posting level but the one i saw operating also gave a true to life level about people's skills or general helpfulness.

It could be  a good feature, but it is open to abuse such as people posting bad ratings against somebody for no reason and take a lot of extra moderating.

edit---------------

Also, this is not a forum/tutorial mod but more of a way of intorducing different types of competitions:

 A competition for new concepts.

 Okay, so we know general concepts, wheels, tracks, hexapods etc... as well as sensors like sharp i/r and mounting the rangefinder on a servo to provide a scanner (the mounting of the senseor on a servo being a concept alone).

 Maybe we could have a competition for best new concept, so maybe a different mode of locomotion could be entered aswell as somebody entering using PIR sensors (often talked about but never really implemented), somebody else could enter software for creating sound understanding, Somebody else could use QTC sensors etc....

 So a conceptual idea backed up by a proof of concept design as well as a statutory tutorial. The best or most innovotive wins. (the concept design also need not be just a fully functioning robot, it could be just say a pir sensor connected correctly to an mcu and some basic software showing how the sensor is read. and documenting constraints such as reading aquisition time etc...).

(Competitions like these would help create a foundation of tutorials for individual components, robot bases, actuators etc...)

just brainstorming......... ???
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 07:57:05 PM by paulstreats »

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2008, 01:17:28 PM »
I added a bunch of new features recently. Yay!!!

First, there are like 100 more Avatars you can choose from if you're too lazy to make your own.

Next, I added Skype to the forum for those who want to chat vocally. Just go to your profile and add your Skype account if you're interested.

Next, I added bookmarks (originally Webbots suggestion). This way you can save any threads you feel useful without having to search for it. At the top of any page you will see this icon:

click on it to view your saved bookmarks.

To save a bookmark, open up the thread you want to save, then click on this icon:


Lastly, I tweaked the forum registration and added a reCaptcha system to hopefully stop all that spam we recently had. I found like 250 spam accounts, and the forum constantly has bots hitting SoR. IP bans got rid of most of them (russian and ukrainian servers mostly).

I also *finally* figured out some bugs I was having with the forum since January. Took me days to add/fix all this stuff, so you guys owe me home baked cookies or somethin :P

Offline kirit

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2008, 01:25:23 PM »
Hello Admin,
If i click on the bookmarks icon, i get "Sorry, you don't have permission to make bookmarks. " error. Is there a level I need to achieve to do it?

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2008, 01:32:03 PM »
Quote
If i click on the bookmarks icon, i get "Sorry, you don't have permission to make bookmarks. " error. Is there a level I need to achieve to do it?
ok try again, I think I fixed it

Offline kirit

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2008, 01:33:37 PM »
Working! Thanks for the quick fix. :)

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2008, 04:16:42 AM »
Two new features have been added.

The first is a feature that shows you who is viewing the same topic you are. Someone had requested this feature a long time ago as a means to know who is reading your questions/topics, and to help coordinate replying to posts simultaneously. At the top right of any topic you will see a list of users, for example:

Admin, dunk and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


The second feature is called Related Topics. It picks out and suggests other similar topics to the one you are viewing, and it seems to be doing a decent job at it too. Just scroll down to the bottom of this thread (or any other thread) for an example. An extra benefit is that it forces a 'search' for an answer to your question after you ask it - very useful since ~30% of all questions asked have already been answered before on SoR :P

Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2008, 09:38:02 PM »

The first is a feature that shows you who is viewing the same topic you are. Someone had requested this feature a long time ago as a means to know who is reading your questions/topics, and to help coordinate replying to posts simultaneously. At the top right of any topic you will see a list of users, for example:

Admin, dunk and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

It might be usefull to move this feature down to the bottom, above the Related topics, since we are mostly reading the last post and sometimes we need to scroll up alot just to see this feature.

I enjoy both features! Thanks!
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Offline mihies

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2008, 07:51:59 AM »
Somehow I am missing the "Mark All As Read" button - I can only mark a single topic as read but not entire category.

Offline Webbot

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2008, 04:43:05 PM »
Quote
It might be usefull to move this feature down to the bottom, above the Related topics, since we are mostly reading the last post
I find it best to change your preferences to list the posts in reverse order - so the new posts are always at the top. Saves all that scrolling
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Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2008, 12:51:58 AM »
Quote
Somehow I am missing the "Mark All As Read" button - I can only mark a single topic as read but not entire category.
I recently removed several buttons that almost no one used as a method to improve forum loading performance. I am actually surprised anyone at all used the mark all as read button!

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2008, 03:58:51 AM »
I just allowed .hex and .xls file types for the forum and member tutorials. It shocks me that I haven't allowed them since day one!

And not to long ago I also added Eagle CAD files as allowed.
BUT if you want someone to check your schematic, upload a JPG!
Most people aren't willing to spend the time required to open up Eagle (including me).

pdf is also allowed, but I HIGHLY recommend scanning any pdf files you download with a virus checker before opening them. Hackers love that file type . . .

Offline Webbot

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2008, 05:21:15 AM »
If you're worried about PDF files being hacked then XLS files are even more of a worry - so need even more virus checking. Its very easy to write a macro in Excel that is run on opening that sends an email to everyone in your address book.

Having said that then JPG files can also carry viruses by exploiting buffer overrun.

So viruses are just a fact of life unfortunately.

So always check anything you download !!
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Offline airman00

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2008, 07:30:16 AM »
Add buttons in members tutorial for quotes and for code.

So far whenever I wanted to put my code in a grey box , I edited the HTML and added in
 before the source code and a 
after the source code
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Offline mihies

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Re: suggest forum mods and member tutorial mods
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2008, 09:12:17 AM »
Quote
Somehow I am missing the "Mark All As Read" button - I can only mark a single topic as read but not entire category.
I recently removed several buttons that almost no one used as a method to improve forum loading performance. I am actually surprised anyone at all used the mark all as read button!

I am certainly using it.  :)

 


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