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Official New Upcoming Features List and Discussion

edited April 2007 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
Vanilla has already great functionality, but it is lots it hasn't! So, I decided to start a thread with all users' requests and maybe get Mark to answer them. I will write all feature suggestions in this top post, why they should be included and supported in the next release and so forth. Some suggestion might already be included with Vanilla, if then, say so! Also many suggestions might be already functional add-ons, but the purpose of this thread is to show what we want included as default in the upcoming releases. Mark can maybe work with the add-on developers (if such as feature will be included) to be sure that it works as it should.

In my opinion, add-ons should only be there when does add something that is not very necessary for the forum owners and users. There should be as few add-ons as possible. They should only be temporary until further releases of Vanilla. Because add-ons will not always be supported and work fine without errors.

The List of Feature Request for new Vanilla versions

+ (plus) and - (minus) signs when adding new comments instead of just "Bigger or smaller". The user should be able to choose how much bigger or smaller the text box will be. Why? Because of full control. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

A whisper link beside block user block comment permalink so you don't have to write or find out the receiver's username. Why? It is such a easy to do and handy feature that will speed up the whisper process. Suggested by Polo. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Yes, by Pol. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=214)

Online tab, show users' online activity, what they do, where they are etc. Of course the administrator will be able to grant access to specific user groups for this. Why? Fun addition. Suggested by Polo. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

Related discussions/comments under each discussion, so for example if I made a new discussion called "Video games", then lets say there are 4 other discussions that are about Video games, then these will show under the discussion. Why? Great when looking for related discussion for a specific topic. Suggested by Polo. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

Better IP control. Should show what IPs have posted different topics, if they are related etc. Why? More control to the administrator. Suggested by Polo
Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Yes Somewhat by Mark. Not too advanced. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=10)

Private Messaging (PM). Al thought whisper is a nice way to communicate privately, a PM system should be every forum user's tool. Why? Because it is more organized. More suggestions: Folders, sent, inbox, outbox, send to multiple people, send a newsletter (via the PM system) to all users or specific people or groups.
Suggested by: Many. Mark's answer: He doesn't really think a PM system is necessary. Existing add-on: Yes by Jazzman. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=220)

Spellchecker. What to say more? A spellchecker, that every user can turn on or off. Why? Some people like these, and it is good for people that aren't so good at spelling. Suggested by: Many. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Somewhat Yes by MySchizoBuddy but it is only a 30 days trial, and everything in Vanilla should be free! (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=217 and http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=22).

More permission control exactly what users and user groups are allowed to access do etc. Why? Control. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No, but a permission control system is included with Vanilla.

Whisper to multiple recipients. You can whisper to one! But why not more people? Suggested by: Many. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Not what I know.

More on the next comments due to characters restrictions.
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    edited December 2006
    Private topics/discussions. Well, you can whisper to people. But why not be able to start private topics and invite one or multiple people? Great for projects etc. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Discussion filters. Discussion filters allows you to specify your discussions, whispered discussions, whispered comments etc. This is a great overview to find back your whispers, participated discussions and comments etc. Vanilla clearly needs a better overview to view one's post and everything else. The administrator should be able to choose what is shown in the discussion filters. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Yes somewhat by Mark. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=7)

    "You are not running the latest version of Vanilla." The reminders are great, but why don't they show in the startpage if you are running the latest version of Vanilla or not? Why do you have to click and check it? Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Be able to choose daily or a custom time when it checks for new updates. You can check weekly, monthly etc, but not daily and not a custom amount of time. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Auto updater. Why should you need to manually update, FTP every time a new update is out? With an autoupdater, it changes and upload all files automatically if of course the right permissions in the FTP are given first. Suggested by: Polo. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Quotes. I am amazed that Quotes aren't already by default in Vanilla. Quotes are great for discussions. Also it would be much more easier than to write html code each time you wanna quote someone. The quote should be in the same line as permalink. Suggested by: Many. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Yes by Jazzman and several others. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=18)

    Multiquote. As in the example above you should be able to quote, but not just one, multiple and how many as you would like! Why? Because someones you need to quote several persons. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No as there isn't a quote system built in yet.

    Notes. Handy notes for you to remind something maybe in the account control panel. Suggested by: Polo. Existing add-on: No.

    Signatures. A signature that can be as long as the administrator chooses and can contain images if so enabled and BB Code. Suggested by: Many Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: For signatures yes by SirNot, not for images though. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=85).

    Polls. Polls adds great interaction to topics. Ask your member what they like, their opinion on something etc etc. Of course this poll feature should be as advanced as possible, turn on or off multiple votes, when the poll expires, multiple polls etc etc. Suggested by: Many. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Yes by Jazzman. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=102).

    Calendar (Public or Private) A calendar or multiple calendars is a must in todays forums! Add an event, show your users' birthdays there or anything else. Let specified groups show specific calendars and so on. Suggested by: Many. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Yes by Wanderer but that is a very very simple Calendar, can't add events etc. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=127 and http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=150).

    Admin option to choose unlimited characters in post by setting it to 0, blank or null. You can set how many characters that is allowed per post, but you can't easily set unlimited. Of course this should be an option. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Watched topics. The idea to subscribe to topics isn't that new. But most forums are not using it the right way. An excellent way to use it would be to have a "Watch Discussion" button on each discussion and a new menu navigation tab called "Watched Topics". All your watched topics are listed there and the most recent first. A great way to keep track of your subscribed/watched discussion topics. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Rate discussion topics/comments.. Why not be able to rate discussions? From 0-5 stars, 0-10 or anything specified. Maybe also 0-100, 0%-100% and so forth. It is fun to rate topics. Maybe the best rated topics can be showed at a special page. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Yes. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=131)

    Karma/Rating system If someone is writing a good post, then you should be able to credit that user with adding points to his karma. Why is this good? A nice way to see if the user is behaving nice on the forum. The karma can be showed beside each post if you want and in the profile. Users should be able to rate each post the user does and the user can see a description that the user did for that karma rating. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    More on the next comments due to characters restrictions.
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    edited December 2006
    RSS Posting. So lets say you have a feed from BBC News and want it to post in a specific category/forum each time it updates. It is great for news and for users to discuss the news without having the administrator to manually post these news each time. The administrator can add unlimited feeds to one or multiple forums and choose which member that posts that feed. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Tags. Tags can be great and fun, could be added in a later release. I guess we have to see how the tag system works before adding that. It can also confuse the searching mechanism. Suggested by: Many. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Yes by houseinprogress. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=226)

    BB Code. It is not that easy for people not knowing HTML to style the messages, so BB Code would be great. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Yes, several.

    WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get editor). A WYSIWYG editor would be awesome for easy discussion styling. Suggested by: Many Mark's answer: None yet.. Existing add-on: Yes several by MySchizoBuddy. (URLS: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=178 and http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=179).

    Birthdays. The administrator should be able to turn birthdays on and show that the user has a birthday on the forum and add that to the suggested calendar. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Newsletter. Let the administrator send a newsletter to a user's PM inbox (suggestion) or/and email. The newsletter can of course use HTML and it can also be sent to specific users or/and usergroups. Suggested by: Many. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Yes by hutstein but only for emails. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=49)

    SEO Friendly/Clean URLs. SEO friendly URLs and Clean URLS would be awesome for page ranking, and it should be able to look as logical as this: http://www.lussumo.com/community/post_title/polo/1 where post_title is the title of the discussion and will of course change when the discussion titles changes, and polo is the author of the post and 1 is the number of the post, which in this example is the first post of all. It should either be for posts or discussion topics.
    Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet Existing add-on: Yes. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=30).

    More database support!. Vanilla works great with MYSQL but it doesn't work with PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQL Lite etc etc yet (or it is not supported). More database support is awesome! Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Yes an unsupported PostgreSQL version.

    Smileys. Smileys and smiley packs is a good way to express yourself. So I don't see why this shouldn't be added. Suggested by: Many Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Yes by Jazzman. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=26).

    Full RSS and Atom support. RSS is growing every day and full native RSS and Atom support is almost obligatory in the growing web. Suggested by: Polo. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Atom Yes by Mark. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=3).

    RSS Reader. A RSS reader and aggregator would be cool. Suggested by: Some. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Yes by folletto. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=92).

    Auto detect time zones. This could be done with checking the browser settings. Great so the users don't have to! Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet.. Existing add-on: No.

    The Wall/Guestbook. As in FaceBook there should be a guestbook/wall in each userprofile so user can give comments for example. BB Code and images, videos etc should be supported and the user should be able to send private or public comments to the wall. Suggested by: Pol. Mark's answer: Great. Existing add-on: Yes by Pol. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=216).

    Mood All members should be able to choose from a list or write a custom mood for each discussion and post they do. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Status/Away message So you are away and the community doesn't know it. Yeah sure you can write a small comment that you are away in a new label, your profile or in your signature but an away message by default would be great, it could also be used for status, so how you feel or do now. (I know this can easily be made manually with labels. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Facebook like system In Facebook you can see what the user lastly made in others profiles, this could also be in Vanilla! Of course the user and administrator can decide if this is on or off, how restricted people are to access, what shows and so on. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    More on the next comments due to characters restrictions.
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    edited May 2007
    Digg like system. This could be tested, that you vote as in Digg and that the best rated topics will show in the top of the forum. It wouldn't necessary be in the Discussion tab, but rather in a new tab like "Hot discussions" or something. Suggested by: Polo and some other people. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    AJAX. Of course AJAX editing and posts and so on should be here! Suggested by: Polo and some other people. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Yes. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=126).

    Statics page A page with statics of the forum, etc how many posts, discussions, users, posts in x days etc etc, should be shown in a new navigation menu tab called "Statics. That all users can browse and access or just the administrator or specified usergroups. Also what ips people have browsed with, browsers etc etc. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Shop system. A cool new addition would be a member shop. Where they can purchase new features for their use, title colors, ranks, etc etc. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Change usergroup colors.. The admin should be able to change the color of different usergroups. And lets say the usergroup Members are changed to gray then all usernames in all discussions with the group Members will be gray. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Fully change fonts/colors/size etc on the forum without digging in files.. It would be nice to be able to change the font, colors, size, styles etc etc without digging in the files. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Custom pages. A very great thing would be the ability to create custom navigation menu tabs items and custom pages with HTML maybe. Then it will almost be a full website system. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Somewhat yes by SirNot. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=60).

    Portal/News A Portal and News system would be awesome for Vanilla. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Shoutbox A shoutbox in the forum would be a fun thing and maybe combined with the Portal/News system. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Attachments.. Attachments with specific files that the administrator chooses would be cool. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Choose if links will open in a new window or in the same window. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    The flash after posts by default. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Full Vanilla integration with Swell Blog and Filebrowser (Logins too). Suggested by: Polo. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No. Swell Blog is not out yet.

    Users browsing category. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Users browsing discussion topic Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Latest visitors in profile Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Online users in forum Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Yes. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=29)

    Users browsed the forum today Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Most visitors at a time. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Let the user delete a post/discussion. Something as simple as this must be included. Suggested by Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    When you write a URL it automatically becomes a link without having to do HTML code. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Yes. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=8).

    Make the Vanilla tour link more visible, maybe in the navigation menu. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Friends list and Block list. A list with friends you have on your Vanilla forum and your blocked users. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Edit x times, edit in x seconds/minutes/hours/days/years/and so forth. Let the admin should for different usergroups if they can change their post unlimited time, or just change it 5 minutes then they can't or that they can only change it x times. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    To Dos. It is a nice way to organize your to dos. Suggested by: Jazzman. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: Yes. (URL: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=61).

    RSS feeds in profiles. Fetch your favorite RSS feed into your profile. Suggested by: Polo Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    Blog system. Each and every user can have their own blog. Suggested by: Tex, fery, ThePeterPiper, MySchizoBuddy. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: It is being tested here: http://lussumo.com/community/discussion/6200/blog-extension-testing-only/

    Discussion Expiry. An option to set a message to "expire" on a certain day, time, minute etc. Suggested by: jeffk. Mark's answer: None yet. Existing add-on: No.

    So submit some more suggestions, comment them, and I hope Mark will take a look on these. I will add more suggestions in this first post as they are submitted in this discussion topic. I will also submit some more ideas soon! ;)

    I think that is all.

    Enjoy! ;)
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    Reserved for discussion.
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    Man you put a lot of effort into this discussion! I cant help thinking that you somehow missed the point of vanilla somewhere along the way though. Your theory about addons being problematic since they will not always be functional is kinda valid but the idea of adding every addon into the core would completely ruin the vanilla ethos. I think this would serve better as an addon request type thread for addon authors to look down and decide if they wanted to make something.
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    Yeah it took a while. :P Damn, I hate the philosophy of add-ons and "lets just be light". More more features doesn't necessary have to mean bloat or badder code.
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    edited December 2006
    Well if you hate the philosophy then there is plenty of other forum software out there which follows the exact opposite philosophy; thats why mark made vanilla in the first place! Just looking down the list of things you suggested I know for a fact that most forums do not want or need a lot of those features and some people even strongly dislike some of them. You must remember that what might seem essential to you may be completely unnecessary to many other people. That's why the addon system is so great (assuming it's well supported, which in fairness it does tend to be) because everyone can create their own completely unique vanilla experience.
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    Hi!

    Yeah, I too think it would be wrong, bad and ugly to put all the things into the core!

    BUT: It is a great wishlist for Extensions! Some of them would be realy nice...

    Don't put it into the core, but make it extensions!

    Tiggr
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    No. Vanilla is something far different from other forums. It is nice coded, it is clean code, it is logical etc etc, and yes Vanilla has a lot of features.
    Well if people don't want these features (which I am sure most people want) they can then turn it off! There are already lots of forum going with the same philosophy and I know that the forums with more features are better. Why? More features are always better, as long as it is coded good.
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    Wow... wasn't there a add-on request page in the wiki? Perhaps all this neatly compiled info is better suited there? Some updates/comments: Ithcy also has a free spell checker: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=22. Speelcheck is also built-in to Firefox 2.0, so hopefully this will become a moot need in the future. I've been considering building a multiple recipient whisper system that would work both for roles and myspace-style bulletins (only those you specify as a friend can see)... blizeH has a nifty countdown calendar for tracking events: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=150 Bookmarks function a lot like watched topics. Vote 1 can be used to rate comments: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=131 I like the idea of karma => benefits, but showing the value could be considered harmful (discouraging to new users, e-penis, karma whoring...) Time zones? I think they are very elegantly handled, in a 'why bother?' fashion. Status/away: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=29 Ajax editing: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=126 (man, I really need to put more work in that thing...) Oh, and set the 'format comments as' to text to autolink URLs. Its the extended text formatter: http://lussumo.com/addons/?PostBackAction=AddOn&AddOnID=8
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    edited December 2006
    Thanks Wallphone. I have edited my posts.

    Al though you are wrong with Status/Away, that is just who is online!

    I am sure that tons of add-ons hurts more than these features integrated and supported.

    If Mark says "NO WAY!" to this, then maybe I will make an unofficial version of Vanilla with all these features integrated and supported. But I don't hope I need to!
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    Hi again!
    It is nice coded, it is clean code, it is logical etc
    That's because it only has few features... I'm shure, putting all the stuff in would make it ugly as a !
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    Hi Tiggr!

    No, not if Mark is a coder guru (as I guess he is, since he could made this nice forum).
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    Even gurus will have problems on doing miracles... ;-)
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    You couldnt possibly keep the vanilla code as clean as it is with all these extra functions. Regardless of your coding ability.
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    edited December 2006
    What about two versions of Vanilla then?

    Vanilla Clean and Vanilla Extreme? ;)

    And anyway, many of my suggestions are necessary fixes that isn't that much code. But yeah they are some heavy ones.
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    Nice idea!

    But why doing two vanillas and not two distributions? One without all the extensions, and one with all the fany stuff?

    Mark does the core, and the community does the extensions.
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    As I understand it, Mark isnt entirely against releasing a version of vanilla with a couple of addons included by default which he knows to work well with the core, but it's yet to happen. And they'd still remain as addons, just in a package.
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    edited December 2006
    I can say that if Mark says no then I am maybe willing to develop the Vanilla Extreme version. If anyone is interested to develop and support it with me, just write here!

    I won't have so much time though the first half of next year, but probably after that.
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    I guess u just want your dream forum just handed to you and coded by mark alone. Or maybe we could have members help design features, or maybe have some sort of "extension/addon" feature so that people can just add the features that they want. now hows that for an idea ;-) Ha Ha
This discussion has been closed.