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Starting a new thread from a separate box

I am creating a discussion forum web site and I would like to use Vanilla as the basis because I like a lot of its core functionality, its design, etc. However, I have to know if it is possible to create a few "basic" functions on top of all its native functionality. I want to be able to have two boxes located above the actual discussion area, labeled Ask and Answer. They should function as follows: The Ask function would be a set of boxes integrated within the design of a "talk bubble" that contained a title field, a text box for the question and a select list to place it into the appropriate category. If the person submitting it was already logged in it would be sent to the appropriate category and the person would see it as a newly posted thread. If the person was not logged in, it would go to a page that showed them their question but allowed them the option of signing in first so that it would not be posted as a guest. If they forgot to select a category on the main page, but they were signed in, this second page would prompt them to select the appropriate category in order to continue. The Answer function would present a randomly selected thread from the discussion that hadn't received an answer yet and present it in a talk bubble above the main discussion area, and directly below the question there would be a text box for directly inputting an answer and having it posted to the correct thread. Again, if the person wasn't logged in they would have a page them prompted them to do so or to continue submitting as a guest. question this workable in Vanilla and if so what level of difficulty does it represent? How long should it take an experienced developer with experience working with discussion forums (though not necessary Vanilla) to develop? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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    You might want to edit your post and make this show up in the Addons request category. You may get more of a response then?
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    edited January 2007
    Thanks Stash for the advice. Actually, in regard to the answer I was looking for, I got a response from Mark O'Sullivan (I emailed him last night and he got back to me this morning even though he's on vacation...what a guy!). He told me the functionality I am asking about is very do-able with Vanilla. So now I am making a request to all of the developers out there. If anyone is interested in a contract to create this functionality please let me know. You can email me through the address in my profile. As I mentioned above, the developer I was planning to have do this does not have experience with Vanilla and it's too much of a risk. I would much rather go with someone who know for certain what they are doing. If you are interested, please email me with links to examples of extensions you've done for Vanilla in the past and a estimate of how long you think it would take you. This is something I have already prepared a detailed functionality specification that I would be glad to provide you with. We want to move on it right away. I think this has potential be to extremely cool...sort of like Yahoo Answers meets Vanilla. I already have a designer working on the look so all I need is the pure functionality and the ability to integrate it with the work supplied by the designer. You can find my email in my profile. Thanks...
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    I won't be able to do this, but here is a mock up to help see if this is something like what you want:

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    Yes that's definitely the basic idea that I have in mind. But I would want it integrated into something very graphic. Imagine where the username and password box is, there is a nicely designed iconic (is that a word? possibly, iconesque?) figure with the talk button coming from it. Then a little further over you have the next iconic figure looking the other direction, also with a talk bubble, but instead of three threads, there is just one and a box underneath to allow someone to provide an answer.

    I think this would be an extremely inviting way to encourage new users, unfamiliar with Vanilla, to get involved in a discussion. You could walk them through the process of registering and posting to the correct category with the "result" page depending on the selections/choices made on this page.

    Anyone interested? I would really like to get going on the project but I need some who is confident they can do it.
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    Way beyond me I'm afraid, but I can definitely see the value in it.
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    Rebumping this. Has anyone figured this out? I'd love to have the ability to be on the discussion list and start a new discussion right from there, rather then going to another page.
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    Bump.. third times a charm ;)
This discussion has been closed.