What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

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John Q. Public
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What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby John Q. Public » Wed May 11, 2016 11:01 am

I'm thinking about maybe considering looking into making a mobile "style" for the next version of the board (which could actually happen in a few weeks) and I wanted to get opinions on what people think is necessary, what's missing on the current one and what I should cut out of the next one.

The current default with the new software is a shrunk, squeezed and rearranged version of the desktop style, with all the boxes, the full set of BBCode buttons, all of the smileys and everything else you see on the desktop style except for the sidebar, and some of the menus collapse into a dropdown. And that's way too much stuff if you ask me.

So, right now, on the posting page I'm thinking to remove the topic icons, the smileys, everything under the "Options" tab (I'm logged in as the admin and I'm not sure what other people get, but I've never used any of them) and I'd like to keep a very stripped down version of the BBCode buttons. But that could be very complicated, so I'm not sure whether I can do that or not. I'm even considering dropping the link to a "Reply" page and just going with the "Quick Reply" box (that seems to have disappeared again but some of you might remember it) at the bottom of the thread. Some other software packages use that, even on the desktop versions, and I kind of like that. And then there's the "Quote" button. You all know what I think of that one and it's hard to edit quotes on a phone, so I'm debating about dropping it altogether. Thoughts?

On the Index and Active Topics pages I'll cut a few things off the top (dropdown) menu, like the FAQ, "unanswered posts," "unread posts" and "New posts." I'm not sure if anybody ever uses any of those, especially on a handheld device. At the bottom, I'm thinking about cutting out the "Jump to" box and all but the "Forum Index" link. But I think I'd like to keep some of the "Who's online" block, for my own benefit.

On the reading pages, the "search this topic" box might be good to keep but the "Display posts from previous:" box at the bottom seems pointless, even on the desktop version. Does anyone ever use the "Subscribe topic" or "Bookmark topic" links? I don't even know what "Bookmark topic" does. Anyone?

So, did I miss anything? Is there anything I listed that you don't think should be removed? I want to make it fast, simple and easy to use but I don't want to take out features that people actually use. There is such a thing as too simple.


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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby crayegg » Wed May 11, 2016 11:06 am

I like it as is just fine.

It is hard for me to conceptualize all the stuff in your post, but I don't think there would be much of a problem. I can get used to most things, but if something really bugs me I'll let you know.

Just my opinion.

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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby Parrotpaul » Wed May 11, 2016 11:09 am

Meh...I have a smart phone, but I don't use it... never made a phone call... don't text... and only take it with me if I go out alone... bride insists...I don't like phones... and smart ones don't interest me. I spend too much time on my laptop, and I have no desire to compute at any other time. :shrug:
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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby John Q. Public » Wed May 11, 2016 11:56 am

I have one installed right now that I think is too simple*. The posting page is only a text box and a submit button. Too simple, IMO, but the reading and navigation are great.

* People with mod privileges can see it but don't click the "Switch to desktop version" link, whatever you do. The only way to get back is to delete your cookies.
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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby not4u13 » Wed May 11, 2016 7:51 pm

I use exclusively mobile. Sometimes Smartphone, like now, sometimes iPad.

I don't do much. I just read and post. No colors. No pictures. Very few links. If posting pictures from my mobile were easier I might do it. I'm not asking you to do that though.

I use the active topics link.

If you make it too simple without ability to do much, it could be a problem.
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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby John Q. Public » Wed May 11, 2016 8:31 pm

Images on your device or linked from somewhere on the web? Pictures from my phone look easy (except Samsung added a step on my new one <grrrr>). The button for linked pictures seems to work alright but copying and pasting is a nuisance on a mobile device. They're great for reading but there are some things they just don't do very well. One of those things is trying to post on a page that wasn't made for phones, so I'm trying to make it as easy as I can.

And the text on the new version will be a little bigger and bolder than the current mobile style. What we have now is decent on a phone but it can be pretty hard to read on my tablet. Funny how that works. You'd think everything would be bigger but it doesn't seem to be. But then again, I'm blind, so maybe it's just me.
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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby John Q. Public » Wed May 11, 2016 11:37 pm

Okay, funny story - or at least I thought so.

I finally found a mobile detector and style switcher that worked, except it only worked with the style that came with it and I wanted to use my own style that would at least resemble our desktop style. The one that came with it didn't at all. The code is fairly complex and it didn't look like an easy hack, so I emailed the guy who wrote it to ask what I'd have to change to make it redirect to another style. He said he'd work on it and it would probably take a few hours to rewrite the code and he wouldn't be able to get to it for a week or so. So tonight he emails me and says, "you change the name of the style to the name of his style." No hacking, no coding, no hours of testing, you just change the name of the directory. Done.

File under "Oh come on! That was way too easy!"

Unfortunately for him he can't publish it that way, but hey, it works. I'll let you know when the style is ready. I wasn't expecting a workaround so soon. I don't think he was, either.
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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby not4u13 » Fri May 13, 2016 8:57 am

That is a funny story. I've done hacks like that before. It's amazing how well they work ... Most of the time. Computers really are pretty dumb. They just do exactly what they are told. Sometimes right off a cliff ...

As for the pictures, you are correct. The copy/paste is a bit of a mess on mobile devices and that's what is so frustrating. I have a picture on my device and I can share it to social media but not to here. I have to upload it first and then link to it here. I know now, but it is usually just too much hassle to bother with. I typically use PhotoBucket. Making it easier here would require you to create a photo repository and script the upload and link process to a button. That's more trouble than it's worth and would use up valuable storage pretty fast, especially since the size of digital pictures is growing even bigger these days. A good poster would reduce the picture and file size before uploading ... We know where that would go.
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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby John Q. Public » Fri May 13, 2016 9:49 am

You can upload pictures with the button at the bottom of the page. That one's actually easier on a phone than it is on a desktop, believe it or not. (The "comment" isn't necessary but you can if you want.) Linking from a Photobucket-type site wouldn't be easy unless they did something on their side. And getting included on "Share" buttons ain't gonna happen until we're over a couple million hits a day. Maybe football season. :mrgreen:
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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby not4u13 » Fri May 13, 2016 10:51 am

image.jpeg


Hadn't tried that one before. Interesting. Very easy ...
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; John Muir
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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby John Q. Public » Fri May 13, 2016 11:24 am

Only problem is when you upload a full sized picture from a mega megapixel camera, as you've probably seen. The current mobile style doesn't resize pictures. Not sure about the new one. Another thing to check.
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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby ShiftyMutt » Fri May 13, 2016 6:16 pm

I'm strictly mobile, but the only thing I miss is being unable to post emoji's. No biggie tho

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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby John Q. Public » Sat May 14, 2016 9:23 am

Still hacking on this.

Yes, the new version does resize images but it gives you an error message if they're too big. Not sure if it goes by dimensions or file size, though. Probably a good thing, thinking about load time.

I'm considering doing smileys as a popup, but only if it wouldn't be a "new tab" kind of popup. That would be confusing. The overlay type of popup would be better but harder to code, so we'll see. Bottom of the list either way, though. But the software parses them if you type them, so colon dash parenthesis gives you :-).
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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby John Q. Public » Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:24 am

Off topic, but if it matters to anybody, I finally shortened this smiley so it doesn't discombobulate the line height quite as badly as it did.:victorydance: Gotta get it right for Glorious Webmaster's sweep of next year's Football Pool.
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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby Omar Bongo » Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:05 pm

This has nothing to do with the mobile version but since you brought up smilies, a problem I've noticed is that I can only insert the ones that appear next to the box I'm typing this post into...if I click on the "view more smilies" link at the bottom and then click on one of those smilies nothing happens...been like that for a long time
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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby John Q. Public » Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:32 pm

:koolaid: :throw:

Hmmm. They work for me with Firefox, Chrome and Edge using two different user names. No idea. Could clicking the "More smilies" link make your prompt go away in the posting box? That's about all I can guess. :eh?:
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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby Omar Bongo » Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:26 pm

Yeah I think that's it...I'm using IE 11 and a reeeeally old version of Windows...I was wondering if it was just me
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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby John Q. Public » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:00 pm

Near as I can tell, the new software is ready to install. The styles seem to be done, I think I've found all of the bugs and inadequacies and I like the mobile style better than what we're currently using. But we won't know if I found everything until we try it on a live site and we release the full contingent of beta testers on it. I think people will be pretty happy with it, though. Lots of cool new features and things that are missing for one reason or another right now. I'll be very interested in seeing which ones people like and don't like.

When it will happen is anybody's guess. It's probably going to take at least a couple hours to install and then a few more hours of installing and configuring plug-ins. I'll try to do the update sometime when nobody's around, maybe 11:00ish and maybe on a weekend, or maybe a weekday. Depends on my schedule and sleep situation. And it might take a couple days to get all the plug-ins working, again depending on my schedule and if nothing goes wrong. I'll try to give at least an hour's notice but hopefully I'll pick a time when nobody's around to see it. I'll let you know.
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Re: What would you want in a mobile version of the board?

Postby John Q. Public » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:02 pm

I think I'm going to try doing this tonight - sometime around 11:00, depending on if there's anybody around besides me and the bots. I'm getting antsy.
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