Email notifications and general board issues

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adrian_broher
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Email notifications and general board issues

#1 Post by adrian_broher » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:27 am

Hello,

I'm usually tracking the whole forum by email notifications. However, the vanilla setup of phpbb email notifications is more than awful:
  • The subject contains a useless 'New Topic Notification' or 'New post notification' or private messages instead of the real topic name.
  • The sender name (not the email) doesn't show who wrote the new topic/post/pm.
  • The email is not related to the freeorion.org domain.
  • The content of the email is some meaningless babble instead of the actual message.
  • The links to maintain the subscription or other further actions are part of the content, not of the email signature.
  • Post attachments are not attached to the email.
  • When not logged in the link to new posts leads to the login form. When removing the e=<number> parameter one can see the post.
All of those this really hamper the way of tracking this forum without re-visiting it several times a day (which is something I would like to avoid) because I would expect that a email subscription gives me all information I need from a post. I could provide fixes for some of those issues if someone could tell me the exact version of the board.

Another beef I have with the board in general is the usage on smartphones. The layout doesn't even remotely fit into the viewport, making pinching and scroll necessary. Also writing posts is a chore, because 'Save draft' seems to be the default handler button if I jump to the next control which of course leads me to a confirmation dialogue I never wanted to visit. Also links are generally to small to 'click' those properly with a touch input. Also it seems like “ (Quotation marks(?)), which are not the same as " (Also quotation marks(?), I'm not to accustomed to typographic difference between those two), are not allowed as parameter grouping sign in phpbb syntax which makes me need to copy and paste those from other places when composing replies on the smartphone.
Last edited by adrian_broher on Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Email notifications and general board issues

#2 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:57 pm

Are these issues with freeorion.org specifically, or do you just dislike (the version of) phpBB that we're using? If the latter, you might want to complain to them, as there's probably little we can do about it.

We're currently a few versions of phpBB out of date. I don't know much about administering it, and didn't want to risk breaking something trying to update, and haven't had any luck getting Tyreth to do the update for me in the last year or so. I'm not opposed to figuring that out and trying updating the the latest version if it would be helpful for some of the issues noted, though I am reluctant to do any custom board script alterations.

You might try changing the board style in the user control board preferences. I don't know of prosilver or subsliver2 have any differences on mobile devices, but they're both options at least for me.

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adrian_broher
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Re: Email notifications and general board issues

#3 Post by adrian_broher » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:10 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:Are these issues with freeorion.org specifically, or do you just dislike (the version of) phpBB that we're using?
Hard to tell, I would like to investigate that further, but for that I would at least need the version and other configuration data like installed mods. Probably most of those issues can be fixed with changing the templates for emails accordingly but don't nail me down on that statement.
Geoff the Medio wrote:You might try changing the board style in the user control board preferences. I don't know of prosilver or subsliver2 have any differences on mobile devices, but they're both options at least for me.
I tried that and when comparing them on the phone I must say that both of them look equally bad/unusable to me. :/
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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Email notifications and general board issues

#4 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:30 pm

Sent you a pm.
adrian_broher wrote:...both of them look equally bad/unusable to me. :/
They may have been written before phone browsers were a common means to view the web.

AndrewW
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Re: Email notifications and general board issues

#5 Post by AndrewW » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:38 pm

Perhaps there's another style that could be added that is better suited to browsing on different devices?

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adrian_broher
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Re: Email notifications and general board issues

#6 Post by adrian_broher » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:43 pm

adrian_broher wrote:Probably most of those issues can be fixed with changing the templates for emails accordingly but don't nail me down on that statement.
And of course it isn't possible to fix this without modifying the code. Fortunately the changes to implement most of the bullets but the last two are pretty marginal and not invasive so I will try to push this upstream. Maybe you could reconsider your opinion about patching the installation Geoff because if such a change is included it won't reflect immediately as a release somewhere and I would really like to see this fixed.
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Git author: Marcel Metz

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Email notifications and general board issues

#7 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:29 am

Could you make use of the per-forum or per-topic atom feeds?

http://freeorion.org/forum/feed.php?f=6

http://freeorion.org/forum/feed.php?f=9&t=7425

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eleazar
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Re: Email notifications and general board issues

#8 Post by eleazar » Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:02 am

adrian_broher wrote: tried that and when comparing them on the phone I must say that both of them look equally bad/unusable to me. :/
I've yet to run across forum interface that's not on the bad/unusable side if you want to do more than just read on a small mobile device, though no doubt some are worse than others.

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