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  1.  (713.1)
    I run a charity here in the UK that works with tibetan refugee children in india and nepal... i'm the supposed web-master even though i'm not actually THAT great at internet things.

    we need a forum, a free one, but a good one i can customize enough so it matches the rest of the site, any of you wonderful people know the best place to go?

    this one is fantastic btw, by far the best i know.

    (Ariana's Edit -- Original bit solved, but anyone else wants to poke at Vanilla (or other forum solutions, sure), feel free.)
    •  
      CommentAuthorAriana
    • CommentTimeJan 29th 2008
     (713.2)
    You do know this one's free?
  2.  (713.3)
    i did not.

    weeeee.

    thank you! you can close/destroy this thread if you fancy now, i've found what i want!
    •  
      CommentAuthorAriana
    • CommentTimeJan 29th 2008
     (713.4)
    Haha-- not a problem. And, actually, I think I'll leave it open-- a few folks have mentioned wanting to start forums, or wanting to tinker with Vanilla. If anyone wants to talk about it or ask questions, may as well do it here. Y'don't mind, I'll just jiggerypoke the thread title.
  3.  (713.5)
    i don't mind, but only because you used the word jiggerypoke.
    •  
      CommentAuthorhyim
    • CommentTimeJan 29th 2008
     (713.6)
    just noticed the difference between the webkit rendering engine and mozilla gecko

    Whitechapel - Forum Software (Vanilla)

    is that some uber gunmetal ?
    •  
      CommentAuthorhyim
    • CommentTimeJan 29th 2008
     (713.7)
    I was doing some UI design consult lately so my mind was tuned to noticing a few quirks in whitechapel, and since no negative thoughts should be left unshared... ^_^
    seems like the right thread to do it since it would mean tweaks on the vanilla backbone it is riding on.

    tabs as links and vice versa
    This for me is a bit inconsistent. whitechapel has tabs for discussions/with me and blogs but it also considers the search function or the account page as a tab. Now in my mind a tab is a section of the forum that has dynamic content (forum posts, posts tagged with me in them, blogs) and a link/button brings you to a static page or form. the account, search, link and categories link yet sit on the tab bar with no consideration to their weight (categories will never be clicked as much as search, for example)

    redundancy in the sidebar
    Categories are a link in the tab bar, but they are also direct links to them in the sidebar. So using the tab/link actually sets me back when something far quicker and more visible already lies on the sidebar. Ha Ah, but you get some description if you use the link. problem is the category description does not warrant a full page of content as it doesn't provide much information (admittedly a bit of humour). rollover description appearing on the sidebar when mousing over the link (dunno, maybe the description appears under the title) would be more intuitive and make more sense than a tab as link for a skinny page. also, that way you won't have to rename some categories in an attempt to clarify them ("second life, "steampunk etc") . I wonder why can't i click on the word "categories" in the sidebar and get the same information from the tab/link (enabling this link would actually solve the redundancy and get rid of the useless categories tab)

    oh and what's up with blogs being under categories in the sidebar, when it's out of it in the tab bar. the tab bar is looking more like a pot pourri all purpose dock. even if vanilla considers blogs as a category, in the mind of the user, blogs are separate from discussion threads, hence the blog tab makes sense (different section than discussions). why it s also present as a category of discussion is just madness.

    damn you, gadget
    Anyone recognizing the term atom or rss2 know they are feeds, so either get rid of the "feed" legend or offer an explanation. People not familiar with feeds will be glad to see a feed section. yet they are given a rather cryptic choice with no explanation.
    to me feeds should be under gadgets, and the gadgets repurposed as some type of toolbox, with the radio, the chat room and a manage my account link since it s from the sidebar you first login .
    the toolbox thus becomes everything to do around whitechapel that is not threaded discussion and expression, instead of being spread out from the tab bar to above and under the gadgets.

    the login link on the upper right seemed redundant at first but it actually works really well as a logged in status. also, there's some graphical thingee happening there.


    finally why do i need to hop to a search page when for 90 percent of search requests an input form will do in the sidebar, I do not know.

    anyway message boards and the majority of interface design usually follow the "if it works, don't fix it" rule, so feel free to entirely dismiss my nitpicking.

    hey i just noticed the bookmark option for a post, allowing users to sticky stuff for their own viewing. That is bright cool ^_^
  4.  (713.8)
    Were you talking to anyone in particular...?
  5.  (713.9)
    I personally would recommend against vanilla. I played around with it once, it was only me looking at it and it burned through 5 gigs worth of bandwidth within a month.

    If bandwidth isn't an issue, then there little else that can match it.
    •  
      CommentAuthorhyim
    • CommentTimeJan 29th 2008
     (713.10)
    @warren . ariana, i might got a bit too into it now that you point that out.
  6.  (713.11)
    Yeah, I think maybe you might want to take those comments to, say, the Vanilla dev forum, where they might be able to address them for you...?
    •  
      CommentAuthorhyim
    • CommentTimeJan 29th 2008 edited
     (713.12)
    You know at first i thought it was some stuff that was very specific to whitechapel (since we are talking placement of links and buttons), but i just got on their demo site and the weird inconsistencies in ui are right there. Must come from the ready made template.
    Want me to delete the post ?
  7.  (713.13)
    So I'm planning (still deciding) on running a forum for my lovely blog readers. It's been set up (pretty much all the default at the moment) and was so simple I could do it.

    Any technical advice you'd offer me? Especially the concerning bandwidth usage.

    Specifically, how secure is this software, and can I make it more secure simply.

    Also are there any 'gotchas' I should keep an eye out for?
    •  
      CommentAuthorAriana
    • CommentTimeJan 30th 2008
     (713.14)
    I honestly haven't noticed any bandwidth issues... but I haven't been paying much attention, either. I can't imagine it's much different than most other forums out there, though... YMMV.

    Secure? Pretty secure out of the box, but there are some things you can do server-side to bump that up, too. It's light-years more secure that PHPBB, which is basically one big gaping security hole.

    No, no gotchas. Read through the comments on plugins before you decide to install them-- some are still a bit buggy.
    •  
      CommentAuthorwilliac
    • CommentTimeJan 30th 2008
     (713.15)
    I've been running Vanilla since I saw it and fell in love during the DPH days and haven't seen anything like Pete Martin's bandwidth issues.

    Definitely read up on the plugins, like Ariana says. Some of them are indispensable, others are best avoided. Sometimes, the order you activate them in matters.

    Spend some time in the Lussumo forum too. There's a lot of useful information knocking around in there.

    The closest thing to a gotcha: I recommend against the Wordpress/Vanilla integration. It's easy enough to do, but keeping up with updates and maintaining the hack is unreasonably obnoxious.
  8.  (713.16)
    Weird, since myself and my brother's vanilla forum burns bandwidth. He can afford it though.

    It may be down to certain plugins...
  9.  (713.17)
    Thanks for the comments folks, all very much appreciated.