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Communications with Andre Massow.  

This is a copy of tthe email that I sent to Andre Massow last night.   Monday 14/4/14  2:33am (Sydney, Australia time)

Hi Andre,

I am really sorry Andre, I know you have worked hard to get the new forum up and running but it is full of problems.  
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These are extracts from my  'End of Day Wrap'.
 

"We have no member section, private messaging is not working, our previous private messages are not available to us, the preview is not working, we cannot copy and paste within a post (using right click),  some of the displays are not working properly, LaTex only works sometimes, we cannot import pictures, we cannot delete posts, we cannot alter titles, the input=result is not working properly, even the 2 emicons on this page is not displaying properly. 

When we add a post to a thread the question does not get bumped to the top of the page and there is not indicator to others that we have just submitted an answer.  All questions will drop off the page even if they are very actively being answered.

I am sure I have forgotten or not yet discovered many other problems.

Some of the questions really deserved second or better answers but speaking for myself it was just too frustrating.

I know that on a smart phone this 'end of day wrap' thread is really not readable because scrolling through 90 odd posts is a feat of endurance.  I saw some one else complain about this as well on one of the other posts."

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Here are some posts that show the views and observations of other members.

I am sure there other other posts with relevant comments as well.
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We have a real community within your forum.  I suppose this seems really strange to someone who does not belong to a cyber community and I know it is not your responsibility to keep us happy.  But, we do help attract people to your site and this forum as it stands will not work for us. Could you please reinstate the old forum until more of the problems have been sorted out.
PLEASE.   If I could put a crying or pleading emicon here I would do so.
 
Yours Sincerely,
Melody
 Apr 14, 2014
 #1
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I received this response  Monday 14/4/14  7:25am  (Australia time)

Thank you Andre for your very prompt response.  It is appreciated.

I suspect Andre will read this thread so if members or guests would like to add a response please do so.

I intend to respond personally to Andre later today.

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Hello Melody,

 
thanks for this good roundup on all the bugs. This was a very busy weekend, but hopefully the bugs were not to much frustrating.   
 
Problems which should be solved by now:
+ delete question  (only deletable if no one has posted an answer)
+ alter titles
+ link color on question title shows if there are unread answers in a question (blue=unread answer, gray=no new answer)
+ about 60 other bugs
 
 
Open Problems:
-  private messaging is not working
- preview
- copy paste (seems to be a problem in some webbrowsers)
- even the 2 emicons  
- smart phone this 'end of day wrap'
- lost password mechanism (not really easy to implement from an legal standpoint, because here in Germany it is not allowed to send someone an (automated) email without prior permission. I'am trying to find a workaround)
 
 
> When we add a post to a thread the question does not get bumped to the top of the page and there is not indicator to others that we have just submitted an answer.
 
I think this is a major design question. I have received some emails that the old way of sorting by last-post-date instead of question-date is not optimal too, mainly because the chronological order of the questions is not recognisable and I somehow agree with that so I have tried this new ordering by question creation date. 
 
One mayor reason why I am trying this new sort approach is the statistics of user visits. More than 99% of "question forum"-visitors stay only less that 1minute in the forum area and open about 3 questions/topics. My hope was to create a Q&A style user experience.  Posting question -> getting answers, or browsing questions -> posting an answer as easy as possible.  Maybe the forum has to be changed in a way that it offers two different interface experiences   , one for quick Q&A and one for power users to find interesting topics and open questions/discussions. 
Is the now implemented Q&A style really so bad? please let me know what you think
 
Best regards,
André
 Apr 14, 2014
 #2
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Dear mr. Massow,

 

first of all, thank you for taking the time to improve the website.

I must say that there are indeed still problems but hey, Rome wasn't build in one day!

 

In my opinion, it might be useful, like the section 'my questions' and 'sticky topics' to have a section alike to 'latest responses'. Which makes it easier for us to see which questions are currently 'live'.

Another possibility might be to give Melody, or maybe even a couple of us the ability to 'bump' questions to the top or towards a 'topics of interest' (which  would be different from the sticky topics). 

Perhaps a part with 'unanswered' questions might also do the trick, however I believe this will not work since not all answers are truely answers to the question (they might add or indicate something about the question)

 

I understand that you want to try this new Q&A style, and I think that most people who are active on the forum are willing to give it a try, however it is really a necessity to have something alike to the above solutions, because currently it is unworkable. Also I'm not sure how the other users feel about the new Q&A style but personally I must say that the old Q&A style was one of the reasons I really like this forum.

 

On to another thing...

 

Would it be possible to give Melody some kind of poweruser rights? Which will help him to redo the sticky topics (since I'm missing a couple and eg. the logic's puzzle probably should be replaced with the general puzzle topic). Also it might genuinly improve the forum to have him be able to delete posts which would censor the forum from language-abuse and other unwanted posts.

 

I think it's great that many improvements have been made to the forum (especially LaTex even though it is still in the construction phase) !

I'm very happy that we can now make this forum even better than it already was!

 

Reinout

 Apr 14, 2014
 #3
avatar+2353 
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Ooh, and I also forgot;

 

- I really miss the possibility to edit my post (since for some reason I always think of things after I pressed publish (like this post))

- I also miss the possibility to respond to persons or respond with a quote

This improves the clearity of some posts (especially in the puzzle section) 

 Apr 14, 2014
 #4
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About the only thing I like about the "improved" site is the fact that it keeps me logged on (the "old" site seemingly didn't). The rest of the "new" site is garbage. I'm not sure that  many of the "top responders" are even looking at some of the mistakes that might be nade in the answers given by others. For instance, last night, I made a stupid error on a trig problem that I didn't catch until this morning. Yeah, I went back and "fixed" it, but some smart cookies (like Alan, for instance) would have seen my error immediately and corrected it!! (I don't mind that....we all make some mistakes every now and then!! Where have you gone, Alan??) P.S. .... I also caught an error made by another responder - no, I didn't bother to correct it - but I'm not sure anyone even looked at the answer anyway!! Besides, I had already provided an answer....can't tell if anyone looked at that , either.

I've given up trying to use the "math input" or "math(input=result)" thingys. Maybe somebody else has better success with them than I do, but the "old" "math input" thing worked WAY BETTER and was WAY EASIER to use!!. Also (and I noticed that a person asking a question had the same problem, too), the "superscript" function tends to stay engaged even when you don't want it to...i.e., you can't turn it "off" unless you skip down a few lines and resume typing!!

Im sum.....Andrew's intent to have a "better" site in which to "attract" new members and responders appears to be having the opposite effect.....i.e., the site has discouraged those with questions and those with answers because it's just too frustrating to use!!! Where I come from (the South in the US) we have an old expression...."If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it!!"

The "English" may be incorrect, but I believe that old adage applies in this case..........!!!!

 Apr 14, 2014
 #5
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I'd like to check out the new 'ask a question' and join proceedures for new people but I can't unless I log out first.  I haven't done that because i am worried that I won't be able to log back on.  I am not sure that i know my password.  Kitty<3 and CPhill have already had to take on new identities.  I don't want to be the next 'batman'.

 Apr 14, 2014
 #6
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Now the reply and edit functions are starting to play up.

On one question I had to press reply 3 times before I was taken to the correct page. ( I had to use the return to last page twice)

Just then I tried twice to edit my last message.  I was going to add that last comment there.  I tried twice.  I was taken to the right page but the whole original question was not there.  Half of it was missing.

 Apr 14, 2014
 #7
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I have just received another email form Andre.

I want to keep everybody updated so here is a copy.  

I have thanked Andre.  There are a lot of problems but Andre is working hard to sort them out for us.

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Hello Melody,

I have added a new "Lastest" tab which shows (unread) answers. The questions in this tab are ordered by last-reply-date (top down).
Currently when you are logged in with your user account, reading a question/reply will hide the question from the lastest-tab. Maybe this will change later.
 
Now I'm starting to program a private messaging feature.
 
Best regards,
André
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 Apr 14, 2014
 #8
avatar+109520 
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This post is mainly for Andre Massow.  Maybe Andre will see them here or  I may put them together later in a email.

 

1) My sticky note facility is not working.  And, can the information icon be added to the others.

2) I don't think that the attachment upload is working, or maybe I just don't know how to use it.

3) I wanted to reuse an old information post but none of the attachments are displaying.  Will they display later or will these old post no longer be any good?

 Apr 16, 2014

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