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Some things that a basic user wants.

Now that you've read stuff first and introduced yourself, the next thing you'll probably want to do is say what you want Quam Plures to have and do. So here ya go: A feature request forum!

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Some things that a basic user wants.

Postby jen » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:48 pm

Mods, please feel free to move this thread to the appropriate forum if this isn't it. I thought about the Blueprint section, but wasn't sure...

This is where I will list the things that I would like to see in a blogging platform. I have a pretty bad memory lately (I swear childbirth MESSED me up) so I am sure I'll only have a handful today, then will add more as they come to me. These are in no particular order.

  1. Easier photo manipulation/options. It would be neat to offer auto resizing for the chosen template...but it would have to be done in a way so that I'm not uploading the full 3MB photo. I would appreciate the ability to change the format of a photo on a case-by-case basis: add borders, flush left/right/center, etc. Maybe it could just be a checkbox when uploading to say whether you want A, B, or C. As a wishlist item, it would also ask for a Caption (optional, of course) that would automatically be formatted in a Caption style and appear in a good spot (like directly under the photo, in bold, in a small font). In a perfect world, you'd be able to set the Caption style yourself without having to mess with CSS.
  2. Email notifications that work. I want to get an email when someone posts a comment. I can't remember all the details of why it doesn't work, but b2 says it has this but ever since an upgrade eons ago it hasn't worked. Visitors also seem to have trouble sending me email via the Contact Me page. (To be fair, however, I haven't done much troubleshooting on that last form issue.)
  3. More abilities with Categories. The ability to add categories on the fly. The ability to apply one or more categories to a search result list.
  4. A search feature that works. I recently searched my recipe blog for both "blueberry" and "muffin" to try and find a blueberry muffin recipe. I had ZERO search results. When I finally found it (by searching categories Fruit and Family), the recipe was entitled "Blueberry Muffin." :roll:

Crap, I have to head to the park for a mom's play date. I'll come up with more later.
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Re: Some things that a basic user wants.

Postby Tblue » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:55 pm

jen wrote:Mods, please feel free to move this thread to the appropriate forum if this isn't it. I thought about the Blueprint section, but wasn't sure...

Looks good.

  1. Easier photo manipulation/options. It would be neat to offer auto resizing for the chosen template...but it would have to be done in a way so that I'm not uploading the full 3MB photo. I would appreciate the ability to change the format of a photo on a case-by-case basis: add borders, flush left/right/center, etc. Maybe it could just be a checkbox when uploading to say whether you want A, B, or C. As a wishlist item, it would also ask for a Caption (optional, of course) that would automatically be formatted in a Caption style and appear in a good spot (like directly under the photo, in bold, in a small font). In a perfect world, you'd be able to set the Caption style yourself without having to mess with CSS.

Well, I don't think you can do such things without uploading the image to the server, at least not with current browsers. I may be wrong, though!

  1. Email notifications that work. I want to get an email when someone posts a comment. I can't remember all the details of why it doesn't work, but b2 says it has this but ever since an upgrade eons ago it hasn't worked. Visitors also seem to have trouble sending me email via the Contact Me page. (To be fair, however, I haven't done much troubleshooting on that last form issue.)

Well, both features work for me. Perhaps it's an issue with your (server) configuration?

  1. More abilities with Categories. The ability to add categories on the fly. The ability to apply one or more categories to a search result list.

Yes, we need to work on that (and on the "apply action X to result set" in general).

  1. A search feature that works. I recently searched my recipe blog for both "blueberry" and "muffin" to try and find a blueberry muffin recipe. I had ZERO search results. When I finally found it (by searching categories Fruit and Family), the recipe was entitled "Blueberry Muffin." :roll:

Weird. We should look at that.
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Re: Some things that a basic user wants.

Postby EdB » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:36 pm

jen wrote:
  1. Easier photo manipulation/options. It would be neat to offer auto resizing for the chosen template...

You will have to upload to the server, but once there auto-resizing per template already exists. The bummer is you can't float a resized image left or right conveniently. Actually, doing that sucks ass. I have an idea for a solution, but not time to work on it. One idea is to always provide easy access to a resized image as soon as it is uploaded. So for example you upload a photo called "blueberry_muffin.jpg" that happens to be 2048 pixels wide. You also told your installation that you always want a 320 wide available, so as soon as it uploads you get "blueberry_muffin.jpg" and "blueberry_muffin_fit-320.jpg" in your file manager. Floating an image implies that there will be space available alongside the image eh? Your template might already resize to 400 wide if you use the "attach image" feature, so it seems reasonable to me that your floatable copy is smaller. I also thought of a dropdown to select the resize it makes, but didn't think of making multiple resizes for every upload.

Captioning a floated image just happened in a branch, but there are some issues with moving the image+caption for a TinyMCE user. I have no idea what the solution there will be, but getting a caption under a floated image is now possible. Not in trunk yet by the way.
Off topic Branch is something someone is working on. Branch in R2M is a branch someone has requested to merge into trunk. Trunk is 'the product'.


jen wrote:
  1. Email notifications that work. I want to get an email when someone posts a comment...

I'm not so sure looking at the server is the only option. Spam traps seem to capture some b2evo and therefore QP emails, but since none of mine get blocked by the few spam traps I use I can't really say why. Once a long long time ago I did a bunch of research into it and kinda figured evo had a situation that used header bits that were prone to triggering spam traps. Dunno if that ever got fixed or not. Another thing I think we do is claim the email comes from the sender when it doesn't, which can also trigger spam traps. I think the solution there is to use the server as the sender and provide a reply-to in the header, but I'm not sure. Since I never felt the pain personally I never really went after it too hard.

jen wrote:
  1. More abilities with Categories. The ability to add categories on the fly. The ability to apply one or more categories to a search result list.

We haven't done a damned thing in that area which is too bad. Every time we clean up one thing it shows off 2 more things that seriously need fixing. This is actually a good thing because 6 months ago each fix was showing 3 more messes. Anyway yeah there's a lot in categories that needs help. Dynamic cats would be nice, but how about a cat that doesn't get shown and can't be edited? You would use that cat when you want a cat you don't have, so that you sorta know you have to come back and re-cat it then publish after the fact. Nevermind that sounds like shit as soon as I typed it.

Category thumbs and descriptions should be used too.

jen wrote:
  1. A search feature that works. I recently searched my recipe blog for both "blueberry" and "muffin" to try and find a blueberry muffin recipe. I had ZERO search results. When I finally found it (by searching categories Fruit and Family), the recipe was entitled "Blueberry Muffin." :roll:

You can't find your muffin without a search engine? :shock:
Admin side searching, or out in your blog? I thought there were parameters for searching text or title or both? If not maybe getting that back is the problem? Also were the exact words in the text? The solution lies in knowing all parameters of the search that failed, but maybe it goes to what category and/or blog is being searched?
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Re: Some things that a basic user wants.

Postby jen » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:17 pm

EdB wrote:
jen wrote:
  1. Easier photo manipulation/options. It would be neat to offer auto resizing for the chosen template...

You will have to upload to the server, but once there auto-resizing per template already exists. The bummer is you can't float a resized image left or right conveniently. Actually, doing that sucks ass. I have an idea for a solution, but not time to work on it. One idea is to always provide easy access to a resized image as soon as it is uploaded. So for example you upload a photo called "blueberry_muffin.jpg" that happens to be 2048 pixels wide. You also told your installation that you always want a 320 wide available, so as soon as it uploads you get "blueberry_muffin.jpg" and "blueberry_muffin_fit-320.jpg" in your file manager. Floating an image implies that there will be space available alongside the image eh? Your template might already resize to 400 wide if you use the "attach image" feature, so it seems reasonable to me that your floatable copy is smaller. I also thought of a dropdown to select the resize it makes, but didn't think of making multiple resizes for every upload.


I could live with no auto resize (since I am used to resizing prior to uploading anyway) but I really would like the other things. I have a notepad doc right now with the codes for flush left and right--and couldn't figure out borders (I assume they're in the CSS which I didn't want to mess with).

EdB wrote:
jen wrote:
  1. Email notifications that work. I want to get an email when someone posts a comment...

I'm not so sure looking at the server is the only option. Spam traps seem to capture some b2evo and therefore QP emails, but since none of mine get blocked by the few spam traps I use I can't really say why. Once a long long time ago I did a bunch of research into it and kinda figured evo had a situation that used header bits that were prone to triggering spam traps. Dunno if that ever got fixed or not. Another thing I think we do is claim the email comes from the sender when it doesn't, which can also trigger spam traps. I think the solution there is to use the server as the sender and provide a reply-to in the header, but I'm not sure. Since I never felt the pain personally I never really went after it too hard.


I am honestly not sure what the problem was/is for me. I mean, I checked my Spam folders and nothing was ever in there, so it wasn't being misdirected. I didn't change web hosts and I have no access to server side stuff. It was like one day it worked and the next it didn't.

I just tested the Contact form and it says email sent but I never get anything. I fully admit it could be something I did wrong, but if that's the case, I would think the brainpower of the forums could have sniffed it out. I took a look at the code and the redirect part seemed a bit off, although I have no experience with Contact form submissions...but what does order by datestart have to do with a contact submission form?

Code: Select all
div style="height:0"><input name="blog" type="hidden" value="6" />

<input name="recipient_id" type="hidden" value="1" />
<input name="post_id" type="hidden" />
<input name="comment_id" type="hidden" />
<input name="redirect_to" type="hidden" value="/blogs/index.php/recipes/?blog=6&amp;orderby=ptyp_ID%20datestart" />
</div>


To be fair, though. I have NO recollection of what I did to have that form. I don't know if it's a b2 thing or something I pirated elsewhere. This is what I mean with I kinda know what I'm doing but not really. :oops:

EdB wrote:
jen wrote:
  1. A search feature that works. I recently searched my recipe blog for both "blueberry" and "muffin" to try and find a blueberry muffin recipe. I had ZERO search results. When I finally found it (by searching categories Fruit and Family), the recipe was entitled "Blueberry Muffin." :roll:

You can't find your muffin without a search engine? :shock:
Admin side searching, or out in your blog? I thought there were parameters for searching text or title or both? If not maybe getting that back is the problem? Also were the exact words in the text? The solution lies in knowing all parameters of the search that failed, but maybe it goes to what category and/or blog is being searched?


Blog searching on this blog -- http://www.hudson2001.com/blogs/index.php/recipes/ --using the search box. The text is only in the title, not the actual recipe (this one happens to be a scan). I don't have any search options other than All Words, Some Words, Entire Phrase. Could there be an update or a new widget that I've missed. Yes, but this is the kind of thing I don't have a lot of time to hunt for.

I did a backoffice search and it found the recipe just fine. But then, it says it's searching text/title.
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Re: Some things that a basic user wants.

Postby EdB » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:30 pm

I got your "blocked cuz you're a spammer" message :)
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Re: Some things that a basic user wants.

Postby EdB » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:45 pm

On images, you can already float them left or right compliments of the file manager but yeah it won't have a border. That you would need to do with styles, which is actually very easy. The absolute easiest way would be to NOT edit your stylesheet. Rather (and this works in that other app too by the way) you should check the box for "allow custom styles on the blog" then you upload to the blog's media folder a stylesheet.css that only changes the bits you need to change. Finding the name of that bit isn't easy or obvious, but it isn't a mystery either.

I'm guessing your cheatsheet in notepad include the border business?

On the search issue: no clue what the deal is. Searching for those words worked sort of, and they got highlighted, but they didn't get highlighted in the title. Oh and searching for "exact phrase" seemed to fail totally because it simply turned that option off and basically gave me "if I find anything I'll let you know". Weird. I guess I should try it in a QP installation to see what's up.
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Re: Some things that a basic user wants.

Postby jen » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:16 am

I never use the file manager other than to upload photos and insert the code. Maybe I should check it out a bit more before bashing. :oops:

No, no cheatsheet for borders. I actually only needed it for the first time this week, so just created my own border in Photoshop. But I wouldn't mind if all photos had a 1px border.
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Re: Some things that a basic user wants.

Postby jen » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:27 am

MORE THINGS ON MY LIST

  1. A bit more intuitive backoffice. The b2 one is decent for the most part, but there's a lot of whitespace on the bars that could be better utilized. Like there are things I can NEVER find and have to search and search for. Break things out into more categories.
  2. A helpful Wiki, FAQ, etc. Half the time I wanted to do something and checked the help, there was nothing there. Or it was called something weird. Or what was there was useless to me (too much geek speak). The forums, however, were immensely helpful to translate the crap into something useful.
  3. Easier static pages. I almost didn't include this one because it's not a major item...but it's something I'd love to have. I did ask for help and received some info, but it wasn't anything that seemed EASY to me. So I just went to the Dashboard and clicked the "generate static page" and got an error that means nothing to me ("You haven't defined a source file for this blog!"). It would be great if it was a few-click process. For me, I want the main static page to be my main home page, with tabs for blogs (as I currently have them) and other static pages. Not sure how possible this is...but this IS a wishlist. :)
  4. Widget arrangement. I am sure these will be revamped overall, but the one thing I don't like now is that it's a pain to reorder widgets. If you have a long list, it takes forever. Let me reorder them a la Netflix (number the order I want them in) or let me click and drag. Or something I haven't thought of to make it easier.
  5. Templates. I like templates, and I'd like a bunch to choose from in various styles. Not a deal-breaker, but I have five blogs that each look different...
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Re: Some things that a basic user wants.

Postby EdB » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:13 am

jen wrote:I never use the file manager other than to upload photos and insert the code. Maybe I should check it out a bit more before bashing. :oops:

Let me correct that for you
jen should have wrote:I never use the file manager in QP so I'm thinking of how lame b2evo is :D


We've shrunk the back office quite a bit. Lots less subtabs, more stuff on each tab. Maybe that's the opposite of breaking stuff out into more categories, but personally I find it easier to have less places to find stuff on. Plus the navbar drives to almost every available page ... sort of.

codex blog in my signature line, or at least I think it's in there. We went away from a wiki because it means using another tool and then maintaining that other tool. Heck everything means that, but with the codex blog we'll be able to use QP to educate about QP which seems kinda smart. It's also an evo333 installation, so we can use it for building the migrator. Oh and lots more sections on various pages in the back office point to a post in the codex blog. Bummer that most of those posts don't say a damn thing, but we needed a structure we could put info into before we put the info somewhere.

How easy is "there are no static pages"? evo333 almost completely obsoleted them and we did away with the last remnants of it.

Widgets in evo333 went to a click-n-drag and we're there. I think we've done nothing with it because it works :)

Templates are taking more advantage of the template class (lets you pick stuff like colors and whatnot in the admin side), but we've only got about 60 or so that are mostly functional. A global bug that will take forever to notice and might be fixed before you ever find it ;) Early on there was good talk about an insanely complicated template system that would make it "click click click" to almost fully customize a template. Unfortunately the folks mostly into that aren't playing right now so we're kinda stuck with a bunch of evo skins turned into high quality templates. Plus there is work in progress to make a handful of ports from stuff that haven't been ported to b2evo before, so there ought to be plenty by the time we have a v0 product.

You really need to hit the daily branch snapshot link, download the zip, and give it a whirl. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised :)
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Re: Some things that a basic user wants.

Postby jen » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:31 am

Just an FYI reminder - I know nothing about evo333 because I stopped at 247.

I would be happy to install the software... does it require another database? IIRC I only have one of those...
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