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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. So...my question is...is 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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