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Future planning/musing

Bill G. said: How does this look?&nbsp; <a href="https://try.discourse.org/" rel="nofollow">https://try.discourse.org/</a> CONS No paragraph alignment or header formatting. Long format stuff works fine and feels readable. Handles drafts! (Interestingly enough, there's a 20 character minimum to a post or comment.) Image handling is kind of clumsy: -- web links create links (not images) -- uploads need manual (dimension) resizing. -- no image alignment (like Roll20 did before it didn't) No horizontal lines. Pros Posts and Comments can be linked.&nbsp; Posts and Comments can be bookmarked. Posts and Comments can be liked. Categories and Tags Integrated search with lots of parameters. Preformatted / code text wraps. Paste of copied images into the editor (does an auto upload) Supports animated gifs! Not quite WYSIWYG, but a live panel.&nbsp; Lots of notification options. Emojis! Overall, a richer environment that looks like it's actually intended for the role, rather than being an add-on for an overall feature set. Some odd omissions and rough spots, but good step up from the Roll20 forum, IMO.
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Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
I spent 3 or 4 years as the admin for an masters program's online campus. Dusted off a bit of that knowledge and put something together we can test out. <a href="http://randomaverage.com/vanilla/" rel="nofollow">http://randomaverage.com/vanilla/</a> Register, I'll approve, then try to break it, I guess?
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Doyce T. said: Register, I'll approve, then try to break it, I guess?
PRO Attractive header. CON The Security Check is a bit overzealous.
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Summer and Alycia are going to forever be Good Cop / Bad Cop. And I'm quite happy about that.
I spent 3 or 4 years as the admin for an masters program's online campus. Was this one of those for-profit schools that took all your money and then conveniently had a broken registration portal so that they didn't have to provide any educational material? Because I've read about those. (ducks)
Vanilla Forums are open-source, standards-compliant, customizable discussion forums. It is specially made to help small communities grow larger through SEO mojo, totally customizable social tools, and great user experience. Vanilla is also built with integration at the forefront, so it can seamlessly integrate with your existing website, blog, or custom-built application. Here are just a few killer features Vanilla Forums have to offer. Rich User Experience Slick Administration Capabilities Limitless Add-ons Custom Themes Change Title of add custom logo with one-click Easily Import old Forum Vanilla API Social Connect Vanilla Mobile Vanilla Connect Banner File Upload Quoth Cpanel/Softaculous. So that's promising.
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Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
Let me get to a computer and change the registration process. I wasn't using the cap shit registration the last time I used the software and clearly I set it up wrong in the 10 minutes I had last night :-)
1542297090
Mike
Pro
For what it helps, I got an entirely different error message trying to register. This was following trying to enter info to register and clicking sign up (I removed all my info from the fields for security reasons).
1542297589
Mike
Pro
Got in after Doyce sent out the invite.&nbsp; Everything seems to be working so far.
Is there a relatively painless way to extract stuff from the Roll20 forum? I mean, I know I could go through each post I want to save and to a print-to-PDF of it or something, but ... (I don't expect this forum to go away any time soon, mind you -- but I've also had that three-years-later oh-shit-its-gone moment before, and there's stuff here that I don't want to lose.)
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
I literally scrape the entire forum every day, it's not hard to do something other than build a search index with that data.
1542387914
Mike
Pro
Bill G. said: I literally scrape the entire forum every day As always, thanks for all the work you put into this Bill!
I figured as much. I'd certainly be interested in some sort of extraction tool (or, for that matter, just dealing with a big extract and pulling out the stuff I want). I do NOT want this to be any major effort on your part, Bill, unless you already have similar intent. I also want to be respectful of other folks' stuff.
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
What is a convenient form? HTML and associated images for a whole thread, one thread per file, in a zip? Markdown conversion? Something else?
Purely from my perspective, RTF files are probably a bit more convenient than HTML, both as file and as formatting, but HTML works (or even Markdown). Associated images definitely worthwhile. One file per thread would be great.
1542391784
Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
To be fair, Once you have it in markdown, you can turn it into pretty much any other format with any of a couple dozen programs...
I have no doubt, but then I have to track down those couple dozen programs. I'm happy with Markdown if that is easy to do and of use for others.
1542393401
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
*** Dave H. said: I have no doubt, but then I have to track down those couple dozen programs. Here's easy mode:&nbsp; <a href="https://pandoc.org/MANUAL.html#options" rel="nofollow">https://pandoc.org/MANUAL.html#options</a> Installation:&nbsp; <a href="https://pandoc.org/installing.html" rel="nofollow">https://pandoc.org/installing.html</a>
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Next Steps So we've seen slightly tuned demos of two forums: Vanilla and Discourse. There's demo sites out there for things like phpBB as well, and more socially tuned or experimental sites like kune.cc. Do people feel like we've found a winner in one of those two? Do we want to look at some other project? If so, I can stand up a server for a couple days, if it's not something Doyce can just cpanel into existence. Do we have a favorite, but still have reservations about it that should be explored? Have we decided Roll20 is okay after all? The weekend is coming up, and if I'm going to do any work on something like this, the Saturday would be great for it. If we're still thinking about it, that's also cool.
Roll20 forums bring no value or synergy to Roll20 (vs any other forum), and given their known limitations, I'm good with bagging them. Between Discourse and Vanilla, I lean more toward the former. It has a few weirdities, but I think they can be worked around (or, from what you were saying, Bill, there are mods which can deal with them). I don't know that there's another platform that's significantly better (I'm sure each has its strengths and foibles), such that we need to research more.&nbsp;&nbsp; So I vote Discourse (but without passionate fervor that this is the only possible choice I can live with).
1542397517
Mike
Pro
If we're voting, I'm throwing in with Discourse as well.
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Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
Copy all above. Discourse good.&nbsp;
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Doyce T. said: Copy all above. Discourse good.&nbsp; Okay. Do we have a preferred domain name, either in existence or something I can register? Something that's not totally likely to be blocked by oppressive work firewalls?
1542400133
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Here's my work items for the forum. If you'd like to see a feature that's not in the list already, let me know: <a href="https://trello.com/b/d7F3j5k0/forum" rel="nofollow">https://trello.com/b/d7F3j5k0/forum</a>
1542401679
Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
Menagerie.team is not currently blocked, by virtue of not being registered as anything at all with the not-so-great firewall - it still gives me a warning when I first hit the domain that it isn't registered, isn't to be trusted, and that all traffic there will be monitored, but... That's true of all sites, all the time so whatever. Unless it's reddit, there's always a chance IT will eventually block it.&nbsp; Randomaverage does the same thing, really. So whatever. I can test out any other domains to see if any of them go by without drama.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
1542401752
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
I'll go with menagerie.team by tomorrow (no subdomain, I'll just use that SLD), unless you or someone else comes up with something else then.
1542401870
Mike
Pro
Bill G. said: I'll go with menagerie.team by tomorrow (no subdomain, I'll just use that SLD), unless you or someone else comes up with something else then.
The Menagerie are our good luck charm. I say go for it.
Bill G. said: Here's my work items for the forum. If you'd like to see a feature that's not in the list already, let me know: <a href="https://trello.com/b/d7F3j5k0/forum" rel="nofollow">https://trello.com/b/d7F3j5k0/forum</a> 1. Cut-paste of images (vs image URLs) into Discourse kinda-sorta works. It converts them into .jpeg files (observed with both .gif and .png), which is fine for static images, but makes cut-pasting of clever animated gifs more bulky. (Some might consider this a feature already in the product). This can be gotten around by pasting in URLs, but that's sometimes a lengthy process. Priority=LOW 2. You indicated that pulling in the markdown-it as a plug-in for discourse would cover a lot of sins, so I'll wait for that to see what it does. 3. Configuration item: topics can only be edited within 4 hours of initial posting. Unless there are performance issues around that, I'd like to see it removed. Priority=MEDIUM More as I think of it.
1542410419
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Image cut-and-paste : I'm not sure what the difference is between "cut-paste of images via URL" and "pasting in URLs"? To me they sound like the same operation. Can you describe what you're doing? Markdown-it : this is actually a plugin-aware Markdown formatter, and there's two plugins for it that I intend to incorporate. Specifically, this will enable hyperlinking of hashtags in posts, and allow you to add styling to elements in Markdown, e.g. to float images right, center paragraphs, and so on. This will still be somewhat manual, but should give you the tools to do funny formatting if you think it's important enough. This will probably take awhile for me to get right, though. And if you're hoping for something to work that I didn't just list, you're out of luck, so let me know what else there is. Topic editing : the time was set to 86400 seconds (1 day). I disabled this setting, please let me know if that did the trick.
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Or I misread what you said about images. Let me look into it.
1542411939
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Okay, so: I picked a GIF at random from my "reaction gifs" collection, it's this one:&nbsp; <a href="https://i.imgur.com/0NWbSL1.gif" rel="nofollow">https://i.imgur.com/0NWbSL1.gif</a> I copied this from Chrome and pasted into Discourse, sure enough it's a JPEG. Is it just Discourse? Let's find out. Chrome, right-click &gt; Copy Image, paste into GIMP. One pasted layer, it just grabbed one frame of the image. Copy Image, paste into Gmail, which I know for a fact supports animated images. Same thing, a static frame. I find this page:&nbsp; <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/chrome/comments/21bh5d/how_come_chrome_cant_copypaste_a_gif/" rel="nofollow">https://www.reddit.com/r/chrome/comments/21bh5d/how_come_chrome_cant_copypaste_a_gif/</a> While not the most coherent post available, the gist is "the OS clipboard mechanism doesn't work like this", so it's very unlikely that you'll be able to copy an image directly. You can still copy-paste the URL, save and upload the image, and so on - in fact, pasting the image URL directly into the editor worked just fine for me, and was as fast as copying the image. TL;DR: this is probably not going to work anywhere, and it's probably not something I can fix in Discourse.
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
I haven't heard back from Margie or James, but I do remember that one factor was their access (or lack of it) to the forums. However much they prefer to participate, it's important to me that they have the option. So hopefully reply-by-email and similar features will help out there. But if there's anything else we can do to make it more accessible, please let me know.
Image cut-and-paste &nbsp;- The difference between (a) "Copy image" and (b) "Copy image address" when right-clicking on an image in the browser, then pasting the result into a Discourse edit window. (a) When pasted in, Discourse auto-uploads the image (as Roll20 does), but converts it to a JPEG of the file (even if it was a GIF or a PNG; this appears to be true for all uploaded images). This is okay, but breaks animation. (If we are working a personal domain, we might not want to be doing this anyway.) (b) When pasted in, Discourse displays the linked image. The problem is, finding the good URL to copy can take extra steps (if it works at all) under Google's image search. It's a low priority thing, at worst. I can just find a usable URL (i.e., (b)) and paste it in; it's just a matter of changing my workflow. Markdown-it : It's probably the "styling to elements in Markdown" I'm most interested in, and the examples given all sound of use. I'll hold off further until I actually run into something I want to do that I can't figure out how to make work.&nbsp; As a side note, it looks like the Discourse Markdown is the "Commonmark" spec, which has an official cheat sheet here: <a href="https://commonmark.org/help/" rel="nofollow">https://commonmark.org/help/</a> Topic Editing : I'm still trying to figure out why it was saying 4 hours, but now it seems to work without any such text. If this causes performance problems, let's talk. Thanks, and thanks for being all Admin on this.
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
A feature I haven't mentioned is that Discourse has a background job. When a post has an external image link, Discourse will go fetch it from that URL, save it locally, and update the post to use the new local copy. So even if you're pasting image URLs into the site, if that image goes away later it won't matter.
1542430477
Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
We're on two different topics in here right now, but on the subject of games... <a href="https://alasdairstuart.com/2018/11/16/after-the-war-starfleets-worst-day/" rel="nofollow">https://alasdairstuart.com/2018/11/16/after-the-war-starfleets-worst-day/</a> I dunno. I backed it.
Bill G. said: So even if you're pasting image URLs into the site, if that image goes away later it won't matter. Nice.
1542469560
Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
*** Dave H. said: Topic Editing : I'm still trying to figure out why it was saying 4 hours, but now it seems to work without any such text. If this causes performance problems, let's talk. Actually, the 4-hour thing was over on Vanilla (which I also shut off).
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Edited 1542481089
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
The Doors Are Open <a href="https://forum.menagerie.team/" rel="nofollow">https://forum.menagerie.team/</a> If you are creating a category, do not put tags into the "required tags" configuration. This doesn't pre-populate a list of tags or anything, it says ONLY these tags can appear. I sent Dave and Doyce invitation emails because I helpfully forgot to harvest the list of users off the scratch server, good job me. I verified that new user registration works (but needs staff approval for now), so ping me if you aren't getting service fast enough.
1542481173
Mike
Pro
I sent Dave and Doyce invitation emails because I helpfully forgot to harvest the list of users off the scratch server, good job me. I verified that new user registration works (but needs staff approval for now), so ping me if you aren't getting service fast enough. Registration email worked, but now I'm waiting approval.
1542481295
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Approved!
1542483414
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
I took the list of proposed game systems (not necessarily campaigns) and plugged them in over here:&nbsp;<a href="https://forum.menagerie.team/t/proposed-game-list/21" rel="nofollow">https://forum.menagerie.team/t/proposed-game-list/21</a>
1542514821
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
*** Dave H. said: I figured as much. I'd certainly be interested in some sort of extraction tool (or, for that matter, just dealing with a big extract and pulling out the stuff I want). I do NOT want this to be any major effort on your part, Bill, unless you already have similar intent. I also want to be respectful of other folks' stuff. And now back to this again! Between shopping trips, acid reflux attacks, and other holiday activity today, I took a few minutes and scraped the site again into a single JSON file. I'll be feeding that to pandoc in a few minutes to turn the Roll20 HTML into RTF/Markdown/etc., but I think I can do one better: Why is Gamora? Wait, no, let me try again. Discourse has an API, and you can create new posts through it. Is there any interest in plugging Roll20 forum content in there? It would be pretty easy from where I'm sitting.
1542515403
Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
I'm all for it. Though the markdown file would be cool also.
Having it available over in Discourse would be fine. I'd eventually like to have a separate Markdown file just to have a personal copy. That said ... the campaign (and submissions) aren't over yet. So ...&nbsp;
1543604490
Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
Also, did I mention I love goofy sci-fi adventures ? Campaign soundtrack starts with 1612.&nbsp;<a href="https://youtu.be/jRHQPG1xd9o" rel="nofollow">https://youtu.be/jRHQPG1xd9o</a>