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Old 05-01-2003, 11:03 AM   #1
leagleaze
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How do I read this %$#@! Site?!

Ok, this board is different from the old board, no doubt about it. However, most people have found once they take a little time and become used to the different features, it actually isn't very hard to follow.


I am writing this post because every few days, someone new comes along and says why can't you make this board look just like the old board? The answer is software.


We purchased a piece of software called Vbulletin to run this board. Before we purchased it we looked far and wide for software that had an index. We couldn't find one. At least not within a price range affordable to a board being run on donations.


Keep in mind though that an incredible number of sites out there are being run on similar software. They use these threaded discussion forums to great effect. So given the number of boards out there that have thousands of members and tens of thousands of posts, using similar if not the same software, I think it reasonable to assume, in time, we will all get used to this software and before you know it, it will be second nature to you.


There is a reason we picked Vbulletin. One is the incredible support available through the individuals who wrote the software as well as a strong community of people who are happy to provide hacks, or modifications that we sometimes implement (such as numbering of posts which we implemented last night) or just general support if something goes wrong.


Two is that the people who write Vbulletin are presently working on an upgrade. When that upgrade is complete and we are sure it is free from bugs, we will install it. And at that time, we will, in fact, have a form of an index for the different threads. If you would look to see an example of what I mean, please go to Vbulletin. You will see that there are options that read Linear, Hybrid and Threaded. These options will enable each user to determine how he or she wants to read the board.


We will keep you up to date as the progress of the software moves forward. At this point however I hesitate to give you a date when we plan to install it, since it is still in private beta testing over at Vbulletin.


For the meanwhile, there are a variety of tools that you may not know about that already exist in this site that make it pretty easy to read. So they don't get lost in this rather long post, I will place a new post after this one, and explain these different features.


As always, if you have any questions or freedback, please feel free to email me at leagleaze@hotmail.com, or all of the Admins by clicking on the Contact Admin link, which you will see on the left side of the board.
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Old 05-01-2003, 11:45 AM   #2
leagleaze
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Features to help you read the site

As I mentioned in the previous post, there are a number of features that make it easy to read the site.


Active Topics

Generally, if you want to bookmark the site, you are best off bookmarking the home page. The reason for this is on the home page you will find a box called Active Topics. This box will show you the most recent topics that have been active. You will see the subject line of the post, who opened the thread, who wrote the post, and what time the person wrote it.

View New Posts

I find the View New Posts link, which you may also access from the home page, to be incredibly useful. If you click on this link it will show you all the new posts that have been written since you last visited the board.

To access this feature, click on the View New Posts link you will see on the home page. It is located on the right side of the page in a box titled Options. Another link for this is located right above the board listing on the Forum Index page. Look to the right of the page and you will see it.

Go to First Unread Post

Each thread has a link on its first page that reads Go to First Unread Post. You may access this link on any given thread by going in through the front door of the thread, if you will. For example, if you read the Fashion Board, starting from the Forum Index you would do the following:

Click The Fashionable. Click Fashionistas You Have Arrived (the name of the current thread.) Click Go to First Unread Post.

If you do this, it should take you to the last post you read in that thread.

Last Post Icon

If you look across the top of the Board, you will see a column that reads Last Post. Underneath that column is a time, a username and an icon. Depending on the theme you use, the icon will look something like this . If you click on this icon, it will take you to the most recent post posted in a forum.

Post Numbering

Post numbering may seem like a simple little thing, but it is actually quite helpful. If you want to share a post with a friend via im now, you simply need click on the post number, copy that link, and paste it in your instant message. Instead of being taken only to the page on which that post is located as happened before, the person will be taken to the exact post you wanted em to see.

The number for each post is located in the upper right corner. You can see it here if you look to the top of this post.

New Post Indicator

The New Post Indicator is an icon you will find to the left of the name of each Forum. The icon varies from theme to theme, but generally, it is a different coloured version of the regular image you see there. In Ravio Blue the two indicators look like this:
Regular Indicator

New Post Indicator

If you look down at the bottom of the Forum Index, you should see a key that will tell you what the different icons look like for the theme you are using.

You will note that this indicator does not turn off immediately after you read a post. It actually is a cookie that retires itself automatically after you have been on the board for a period of time.

Search

The search feature on Vbulletin is quite good. You may search all posts or posts in a specific forum. You may also search by date. You can access the search feature in a variety of ways, but the easiest is probably to just click on the button across the top of the board. Please see the next post for more information on searching.

Show Threads by Date

One thing that seems to confuse some people is the fact that we can have many different threads. You can always tell whether a thread has had a post in it recently by looking at the date and time of the most recent post. But if you haven't been on the board in a week or two, and you just want to look at the threads that have posts from that period of time, it is pretty easy to do so.

Go into the main forum you are interested in, for example, if you want to read the New York threads, go into that board by the main entrance (clicking on the link from the forum page.) Next look down toward the bottom of the page near the bottom of the list of threads. It reads "showing threads by..." and there are some options. You will see there are three boxes you can click into. You want to focus on the one that reads "from last 30 days." You can click on the "last 30 days" and alter it to when you were last on the board. If you want to look for older posts you may also choose to go back further. The default is last 30 days.

So, if you haven't been on the board for 2 weeks and you just want to see which threads have been active in the past 2 weeks, simply click on last 10 days or last 20 days, and you will see only the threads that have been active during that time. You may do the same for 1 day or 2 days and so on.

Altering the Default Thread View

You may alter your own default for this to choose how the board will automatically show you threads. I.e. if you wsh to see threads only a week old you can have your default set to do that so you don't need to change it. If you want to see older threads you can set it for that as well. To do this do the following:

Go to User CP
Scroll down to Thread View Options
Find Default Thread View
Click where it reads Use Forum Default and adjust it accordingly.

Important Caveat: Cookies

There are two things that you need to do to take advantage of many of these features. 1. You must be a member of the board. 2. You must enable cookies. To do this go to User CP click on Edit Options look under Login, Cookies & Privacy and you will see you can choose Browse board with cookies? make sure that is on yes.

If you are concerned about privacy and cookies, please feel free to see our Privacy Policy

Hopefully these different tools will help you navigate the board more easily. If you need any help, feel free to email me directly at info@lawtalkers.com, or contact all of the Admins, by clicking on the appropriate link to the left of the board.
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Old 06-11-2003, 12:30 PM   #3
leagleaze
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Using the Search Feature

A number of people have asked me about the search feature on this board, so I thought I would give a bit more of an explanation.

This board came with a feature that let you search by username, but we took that out. You can still type in someone's username, but it will only come up if that name is in the body of the post.

As far as how to use the search feature, first, obviously, you need to click on search.

You will see you have an option to search by keyword. I believe we have it so you have to have at least 3 or 4 letters in a word to search it.

You can search all forums or specific forums. You want to make sure that you click on the choice that shows results as posts not as threads. If you show results as threads you'll just get the name of the thread, not very useful. If you show results as posts you will get a list of every post in which whatever word(s) you are searching for are used.

For example, I was looking for information on a story someone mentioned about Skadden. I knew the post was in the Fashionista board, so I simply clicked on search, chose the Fashionista forum, typed Skadden in the search box, clicked on show results as posts, and I quickly was able to access all of the posts in question in the Fashionista forum that contained the word Skadden.

The search feature is actually reasonably advanced. You can, for example, use connectors to join words, so you can limit your search. Say for example I was interested only in Skadden New York. I could search for Skadden and York. I can also use a wildcard (an *) if I am uncertain how to spell something or want to search for a word that can have a variety of different endings.
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Old 06-12-2003, 08:01 PM   #4
leagleaze
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Software Update

Vbulletin has announced it will release the first public beta of its new software on Friday. We won't install the software here until two things happen. First it has had an opportunity to be tested out in the world and a more complete version is released (a beta for those who don't know is still a test version of a program.) Second, we want to give the people who write vbportal an opportunity to update their software to work with the new vbulletin product.

I expect this testing phase and creation phase will take at least a month or so. It is my hope that we will be able to install the new software by the end of the summer. I cannot promise this will happen, it simply depends on what happens with the testing and the upgrading of vbportal.

I will keep you posted.

L

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Old 06-14-2003, 10:00 PM   #5
leagleaze
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As promised Vbulletin has released the first public beta of Vbulletin 3.0. As I mentioned we will not install this software until we are sure it is well on its way to stable. It is my view that a stable, properly working board is the most important thing, I imagine most of you agree.

But the fact that they have released the first public beta is a big step in the right direction.

As always, I will keep you up to date.


L
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Old 09-01-2003, 12:58 AM   #6
leagleaze
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Update on upgrade

Vbulletin is now on the 5th version of its beta. Hopefully sometime soon they will have the final version up. What is holding us up in terms of running the beta is the fact that VBportal, which is the other software we run, won't even release a beta until Vbulletin has released what is called an R/C (released candidate.)

VBportal is what adds the functionality to the front of our site.

I'll keep you notified about any changes.

L
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Old 11-17-2003, 12:00 PM   #7
leagleaze
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Update on upgrade

Vbulletin is now saying they hope to have the upgrade stable and ready by Christmas. Personally, I don't really see how this is possible. But we can keep our fingers crossed.

I'll let you know.
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