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A few basic features lacking + WP plugin issue

edited January 2011 in Vanilla 2.0 - 2.8
Hi there, I'm a new vanilla user and I think it has great potential. However, I think it's lacking some very basic features.

Features I think should be implemented:

A members list:
Surely this shouldn't be too hard to do? Most forums have this function, just a page displaying a list of the current members on the forum with the ability to search through the members.

A send private message function:
I love the abilty that you can PM other members on the forum, but there isn't any buttons on another users profile page which displays something saying "Send Private Message to *****" The annoying thing is you have to go into your inbox, then click compose, and then type the users name. It would be much easier if you could just click a button on their profile and the field where it says usersname is automatically filled in.

Strangely enough, if you are logged in as an admin you can browse other users profiles and this functions available. But when you try using a member account, you view another personals profile and this function isn't there?

Add Friend Button
This is a more complex request but I think it would be cool to be able to add people as friends and have a seperate page where it displays only yours and your friends activities instead of everyones.

Advanced Search
I believe an advanced search is required on any forum platform, the user should be able to specify which user posted a discussion, and which category to select from etc.

About me section
On another tab on the persons profile page they should be able to add some information about themselves. The admin should be able to add text areas which can be filled out stating customisable things such as Real Name, Twitter ID etc..
I've seen a plugin for this but it doesn't seem to work at all.

Ability to have icons next to the category name
This is on pretty much every forum I go to, an icon appears to the left of the category/sub-category title and I think this should be a feature in vanilla. For example, an icon on the left of the category which is grey when no new posts are added. When a new post is added to that category, that icon changes to let the user know theres a new post there.

Difficult to find the 'My Drafts' button
I think it would be sensible to add the 'my drafts' button on the main head navigation as this can be quite tricky to for members and should be a basic link on the navigation.

Inbox message shouldn't be in notifications
I think it's much better to not have a new inbox on your notifications. For example, when you get a new message a (1) appears by your inbox, but then a (1) also appears next to your notifications. Is there anyway I can change this?

Problem 1
I don't know if anyone else is having this problem but my new members can't seem to be able to comment on anything? It says 'commenting is disabled' I find this very strange and have looked extensively through the admin and still can't adjust any settings to let my members comment on things.

Problem 2
Also i'm having troubles with the WP plugin, it integrates fine within my site using embed, but it seems to do some strange things to my actual wordpress admin area. For example, after activating the plugin and going to add a new post/edit a post, you'll notice that the box where the permalinks are looks awfully strange and also other features of the admin using text areas displays funnily. After I deactivate the plugin this problem goes away.

Hopefully someone can answer my questions,


  • Options
    Matt, I'm glad you mentioned Problem 2, I'm having the same problem. When I activate the WP plugin, it caused a number of strange formatting/display problems with various areas of my admin area. I posted screenshots here:

    Seems odd how a plugin would cause that, hopefully they can fix it!

    I agree with a lot of your points, especially private messages and a members list should not be plugins, they should be integral into the application. But on the other hand I don't want Vanilla to become another vBulletin with feature bloat. I'm sure the developers walk a fine line between offering functionality and providing a simple/clean interface.
  • Options
    re:Advanced Search - this needs to be addressed ASAP. The search function is basically useless in its current form.

    re:Problem 1 - check and set your permissions at a Category level. The defaults don't seem to stick.

  • Options
    I am not an old hat when it comes to Vanilla, but I thought one of the basic tenets behind the software was to keep it light and customizable/configurable to an individual community's needs. Yes, some features that are standard equipment in other forum packages are plugins (or add-ons or additional applications) in Vanilla's case, but that makes it a whole lot easier to find/build/research&duplicate/hack a solution that fits your needs 100%.

    A number of your requests seem extremely feasible with a little theming and/or plugin tickle.
  • Options
    Plug-ins are great, but a lot of them are not officially approved, which makes me hesitant to install them. The more popular ones should be integrated into the core installation.
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