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Edited by Sam Marshall, Friday, 17 Jul 2009, 18:42

ForumNG's coming along quite nicely. I've now implemented all the buttons along the bottom of the discussion. These are:

  • Discussion options (same as part of form you get when starting new discussion; change sticky, time restrictions, group).
  • Lock/unlock (launches form where you type text of lock message).
  • Merge (when you want to put the current discussion inside another one).
  • Delete/undelete (mark discussion deleted).
  • Show readers (slightly useless page displays people who've viewed the discussion, based on the unread data; available only for posts within the 'store read data' threshold, default 60 days).
  • Export to Word (exports the current discussion page to Word document).

The Word export is a bit of comedy* feature. Previously, I'd put effort into RTF export facilities using horrible libraries that don't work properly. Then somebody told me that you can actually just write an HTML file... give it a .doc extension or Word mime type... and Word will open it just fine. Ho hum. Anyhow, it works. [I kind of wish we could ditch this feature altogether, along with the one before it; they're both pretty useless.]

* In the geeky sense, not the 'actually funny' sense.

By the way, these buttons along the page bottom are an extension point: it's easy to add more buttons if required, without modifying any of the forum code.

Also this week I got backup and restore on the go, and integrated the OU search system, and tidied up the rating star UI a bit following (only slightly contradictory) feedback from helpful developers.

Just one more week to go before code freeze. I'm not too panicked about that - we've now agreed (er, kind of) that I won't be implementing other forum types (Q&A etc) for the first release, which means the only significant feature left is RSS/Atom feed support. Apart from that there are an awful lot of things that need checking (is email still working? it did once but that was ages back) and I probably need to search the code for TODO comments. Then if at all possible I want to do a bit of performance testing, i.e. leave my computer on overnight creating forums and check the next day that an individual forum still performs OK with much more data in the tables, maybe work on optimising the queries if they're slow, etc.

We have decided to leave the internal name at 'ForumNG' during the pilot period. I don't actually know where that naming convention came from, but suspect it's a Star Trek reference. It was also requested that the icon should be changed. Our current icon for old forum is a picture of a person wearing a green top. The new icon is identical, but I changed the shirt to red. We'll be sending this forum out on an away mission to (a small number of) OU students at the start of September...

Oh, and:

  • 1.9 PAGELIB HATE HATE HATE (why is there no $buttontext variable on the print_header for activity pages, grrrrrrr).
  • I found a slice of OU-specific code today which has been in place since last autumn, doesn't work correctly because of the old if($variable = 'value') thing, and in fact appears to have an identical result to the core code before the OU-specific bugs bits were added. Sweet.
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