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On consistencies - Discussions, Questions, Rate My Link, and possibly few others

rbrahmsonrbrahmson "You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one"NY ✭✭✭

As a newbie guest in the Vanilla community I am finding both wealth of options and some inconsistencies. I understand that some of the perils of open source development is the lack of central control (which is usually an advantage), but along with it comes the risk of inconsistencies.

From my admin/end-user point of view, I see all these as different types of discussions: (1) The standard discussion, (2) Q&A, (3) Discussion Polls (4) the Rate My Link. Additionally, the Progress Bar and Countdown are borderline "types" because of the way they alter the standard discussion. I think there is no formalized "type" concept as I describe, but perhaps one should have been created to increase user interface as well as administration consistency.

On a related subject, I wonder whether a design guide exists (beyond theming) and if it did, whether it would have made a difference in an open source environment.

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  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    You forgot about Activities ;)

    What is your question? What would you like to have happen?

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  • rbrahmsonrbrahmson "You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one" NY ✭✭✭

    Not sure what you mean by "Activities" - I may be missing something...
    Would have liked someone to either refute the need for more consistency or suggest something that would bring more consistency. Ideally, someone will take upon the challenge...

  • There is already a defacto convention the Type column. You then just use normal hooks to change the view etc.

    grep is your friend.

  • whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... Moderator

    @rbrahmson‌

    It may be clear to you what you are saying, but it isn't to me (or @hgtongiht, it would appear.)

    What type of 'consistency' are you looking for?

    What would it look like, and how would it benefit you?

  • I favour convention over configuration, you could rigidly define post type, but all that would need to be specified, and have additional infrastructure, you would not be able to predict all the necessary requirement in the future.

    Post types in wordpress are different because in word press post is a fundamental concept which can be manipulated, (which can actually be quite unclear becuase other uses of the term post or page), it is different situation in vanilla, where it is generally meant to indicate a discussion unit. Any type is just an an embellishment of that.

    Some things are not exclusive OR (mutually exclusive), too.

    grep is your friend.

  • In my rate my link I use post type "Link".

    grep is your friend.

  • Activities are not discussions, do they do not have post as such. Of course ti is confused by wall post, but this is a different model that discussions.

    grep is your friend.

  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    @x00 Activity records can be the root for a comment list, no?

    Discussion Polls adds the option of embedding a poll within a discussion. It doesn't create a new 'type' of discussion. Unless I am missing something?

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  • x00x00 MVP
    edited March 2014

    @hgtonight it does create a new type of post so maybe it does support the notion of comment type.

    Wall messages are completely separate and unrelated to discussions.

    If it was done in wordpress no doubt activity, and other types of post would be defined in the same table.

    But I for one, think it is not necessary to have rigidly enforced typing.

    All it needs is a commonly known reference, other than that, there is really not much else needed.

    grep is your friend.

  • rbrahmsonrbrahmson "You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one" NY ✭✭✭

    My (possibly narrow) point of view is of an end-user. What I observe is that the "standard" discussion starts with a button on the right, has a title, body, etc. Progress bar and countdown "seem" like a different type and they are specified with a special code within the text.

    The Q&A and Rate my Link which look very different than a "standard" discussion. One starts by picking up the question tab, the other with a special button below the one that starts a standard discussion.

    Whether these are "real types" in programming or architecture nomenclature is a question for better minds than mine. But what I do feel is that if I wanted to support all of these consistently and manage them easily I'd have to revert to programming -- an effort that IMHO decreases from the platform potential (which I think is really there).

    What I wish would happen is that the administrator would be able to enable these features to the forum and through administration options set the look and feel (up to a limit, I get that) and the permissions. It would be great if someone would take upon this "consistency" challenge.

  • KasperKasper Scholar of the Bits Copenhagen Vanilla Staff

    It sounds like this consistency you're describing is somewhat similar to Taxonomies in WordPress, i.e. an interface for describing different types of content. The benefit of something like this is that it can easily be exposed via a GUI as it is consistent.

    Am I correct?

    Kasper Kronborg Isager (kasperisager) | Freelance Developer @Vanilla | Hit me up: Google Mail or Vanilla Mail | Find me on GitHub

  • rbrahmsonrbrahmson "You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one" NY ✭✭✭

    I am not familiar with WP. I think that anyone who looks at the different examples I mentioned will see the differences in user interfaces (even if one uses the same theme) as well the differences in permission management (and thus administration inconsistencies). If these Taxonomies you mention handle both the GUI and permission management in consistent way, then yes, that's what I mean.

  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    The relevant codex page for wordpress taxonomies: http://codex.wordpress.org/Taxonomies

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  • rbrahmsonrbrahmson "You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one" NY ✭✭✭

    So using that taxonomy I am referring to what I perceive to be different "types" of posts. Seems like Vanilla's Discussions are really post...

  • @Kasper said:
    It sounds like this consistency you're describing is somewhat similar to Taxonomies in WordPress, i.e. an interface for describing different types of content. The benefit of something like this is that it can easily be exposed via a GUI as it is consistent.

    Am I correct?

    custom post types are a separate concept in wordpress.

    taxomonies are primary about grouping content.

    grep is your friend.

  • rbrahmsonrbrahmson "You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one" NY ✭✭✭

    So it would seem that I am referring to the inconsistencies in post types...

  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    There is no sense of describing post types in Vanilla. Generally, an actual new post type will be defined via an Application, rather than a Plugin. Most things jump onto the discussion/comment type and modify them. I don't know what kind of consistency you are looking for, since different "post types" are defined by their differences.

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  • rbrahmsonrbrahmson "You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one" NY ✭✭✭

    Somehow the discussion got into matters of taxonomy and other areas. I was merely observing that after looking into some plugins that sort-of alter the discussion "type" (my nomenclature, probably not a real type in Vanilla architecture), I, as the administrator found that:
    1. There is inconsistency in permission admnistration of these plugins
    2. There is look-and-feel inconsistency. Some start a post through a tab, some through a button, etc.

    Why did I pick on these specific list of plugins? Because they affect the end user posting experience and because they are exposed so much to the end users (and thus, the administrator needs to manage them more than other plugins).

    So I was looking for consistency in management (permissions) and user experience (look-and-feel beyond merely theming) and hoping that someone would concur and decide to make this happen for everyone's benefit.

  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    As the original author of Discussion Polls, I accept any pull requests that make things seem "more Vanilla". :)

    You could perhaps start a discussion up under each plugin with your proposed changes. Not sure if it needs to be more meta than that though.

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  • rbrahmsonrbrahmson "You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one" NY ✭✭✭

    Not suggesting to pull anything. Haven't given thought as to which should be the model for others. Unlike real commercial products where the product manager (or someone else) is the gatekeeper than enforces user experience consistency (both end users and admins), open source is more open (that's good!) but runs the risk of random paths development with lacking consistencies. Don't rush to pull anything, if this "consistency project" is taken up, it should be a team effort.

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