Author Topic: Mods I've been thinking of making (Comments?)  (Read 4655 times)

Offline Louis (CSpotkill)

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Mods I've been thinking of making (Comments?)
« on: March 10, 2005, 03:40:28 PM »
I finally made my first mod, Friendly Time. It's something I released over at my forums a few months ago. Based on some of the feedback from it, plus all the interesting ideas I've been listening to (Podcasts rock!) and all of the ideas I've had for my site for months or years now, I've decided perhaps I should try to make some more of my crazy ideas work with SMF. I mean, I know they should work in theory, but I don't know of anyone who's doing this for forums. (Which have been sadly neglected with all the hype about blogging)

Anyway, as I probably wouldn't make these mods if I knew that I'd be the only one using them, I'm posting this to try and get some feedback, see what people think of some of the ideas.

Here's one I was just thinking about: Friendly Search - Find posts faster
(Why "Friendly"? Well, I thought it would be cool to build up a "brand" for my mods. lol.)

  • Find-as-you-type “instant” search using JavaScript
    • When the search loads “pull down the results to cover the entire page” (like Apple's Safari RSS thing) and let people go back to where they were before they started the search with a Longhorn-style back button. Perhaps show a "Back to search" bar at the top after viewing a search result.
  • Use Google-style option buttons to limit search based on context (in a topic, a board, etc.) - offer something like at
    Search: <box> then Everything, This Board (Board|Topic), This Topic (Topic)

  • Simple results format – think Google:
Topic Title Goes Here Category
Author Name: Preview text, preview text, preview text. Make it relevant and useful.
<Date Posted> - 236 words - Read More …
  • Group other relevant posts from that thread, don’t bother with reply titles, just show the relevant preview.
More from <topic> (link) by Author, Author (links)[/list]

  • Recommendations – let admins, mods and regulars recommend posts for search result keywords
  • Tie in recommendations with “Featured Posts” so good posts can be highlighted and found more easily. Perhaps work on context-sensitive features, or some kind of “related topics” feature when browsing topics.
  • Let people filter searches after they search - and generate the list of filters automatically based on the results found. (like Apple's Safari RSS thing - but better) So they can easily filter by board (exclusive & inclusive selection) as well as by date (Recent: Today, Last Few Days, Last Few Weeks, Last Few Months – make it fuzzy, so you can include better results even if it’s a few days or weeks off.) Also let people filter by post author and make it easy to change the search (right now they have to click "back" and try a completely new search)

  • Let people customize the preview length, so they can see more of the post to decide if it’s the post they’re looking for – perhaps try using a less/more slider, like Apple's Safari RSS thing.

  • Perhaps there should be a way to increase the “thread context” as in – pick the “good posts” from that topic that relate to what I am searching for. Perhaps if a topic has many good posts related to what I’m talking about, the topic should have a higher ranking, and the related posts could be shown in-line, one after the other?

  • Basically, load the search results using JS and XmlHTTPRequest for the find-as-you-type, plus do the filtering and preview with JS. Migrate some of the better/easier to implement features back to the HTML template, so people with older browsers can still take advantage of some of the new enhancements (like the search box buttons)

  • If there are pictures, show thumbnails of the pictures, inline, next to the preview text from the post with the picture; if the post itself doesn’t have a picture in it, but there’s a picture in the topic, include the picture from the topic, whatever it is. (Earliest post in topic with picture wins. Or should it be the picture closest to the post we're previewing?)

  • When you hover over someone’s name, have a “Smart Tag”-style feature pop up, from some kind of “Friendly Profile” mod? (Like the Person/MSN smart tag in Outlook when you hover over someone's name/email in the From address for an email.)

  • Let people start searches for quotes straight from the reply box …
So what do you think? Am I crazy?  :)
« Last Edit: March 14, 2005, 12:23:35 AM by Louis (CSpotkill) »
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Offline Trekkie101

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Re: Mods I've been thinking of making (Comments?)
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2005, 03:48:47 PM »
Crazy - yes

Genius - maybe

Friendly search sounds cool, although im glued to the idea of find as you type style that wuld help quite a bit and also nice to see someone improving current features rather than creating new ones. (Not that I dislike new)


Offline A.M.A

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Re: Mods I've been thinking of making (Comments?)
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2005, 05:37:51 PM »
Those are great ideas indeed.
Really sorry .. real life is demanding my full attention .. will be back soon hopefully :)


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Re: Mods I've been thinking of making (Comments?)
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2005, 05:49:51 PM »
some of them are really outstanding...  I hope you get them online soon!

one thing I do dislike about SMF is the default option to search the entire web from within the forum.  For me, that's something a user can do outside of forums using google or whatever....  It's confusing to newer members too, as they want to search for something in the website and of course don't realize it is defaulted to searching everywhere but the site...  If you make a mod like that, please please if one must include the redundant search of the entire web, make the site the default first...

Offline dtm.exe

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Re: Mods I've been thinking of making (Comments?)
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2005, 05:51:04 PM »
I've been waiting for a mod that can actually search within a thread!  That would be especially good for those 20+ page-long threads :).

-Dan The Man

Offline Michelle

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Re: Mods I've been thinking of making (Comments?)
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2005, 12:44:57 AM »
I've been waiting for a mod that can actually search within a thread!  That would be especially good for those 20+ page-long threads :).

-Dan The Man

Me too...
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Offline flyingmembers

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Re: Mods I've been thinking of making (Comments?)
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2005, 01:10:10 AM »
Not sure I understand the preview image bit?  Is it like Yahoo News where you put your mouse over and see the image also?

I'd love a image preview for Guests to the forum, so they can see what they are missing and tempt them to sign up.