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patvdv 14th September 2007 08:24

What do YOU want to see at baanboard.com?
 
Hi all,

Originally I planned to post this message just after our 6th Birthday but then I decided to wait until summer holidays were over so that a maximum number of members would be able to pick on the message. So what is this all about? Well, I am calling for new suggestions on how to improve the site. Whether you want to propose changes to the existing features or totally new things, anything goes. Call it a "brainstorm" exercise. I am however looking for realistic goals and together with new ideas volunteers to make these happen are also welcome. Based on the feedback I will select a number of ideas that I think can be made reality and if there too many, we can have of course have a vote on what is the most popular etc. Now put your thinking cap on!

dilipk.pandey 17th September 2007 07:03

I think...
 
Hi,

I think there should be an inbuilt chat functionality...and every user should be able to select an option whether he is available for chat or not...(same as board shows that currently the member is online or not...), that will make the interaction time shorter in some cases (where one might require urgent help...) by helping others instantly...after logging to baanboard user can make his or her status online or offline for chat....

What do the seniors think about it...?

Thank for starting this thread.
Regards,
Dilip.

en@frrom 18th September 2007 09:13

Dilip's suggestion does indeed have the advantage of being able to help/be helped faster at times. I find however that there is a big disadvantage to a chat as well, that any proffesional knowledge discussed and transferred through the chat will be lost and useless for all the others.

The power of a forum is that the posted messages form a rich knowledge base; a huge collection of professional experience... For this same reason by the way, I do not like when professional issues which may be a benefit for others, are discussed through private messages...


Regards,
Eli Nager

sukesh75 18th September 2007 12:07

I feel the Wiki needs some cosmetic makeover as it looks a bit confusing at times unlike Baanboard. Since its a part of this site, shouldnt there be one single login rather than having to sign in twice, one on baanboard and one on wiki. Is there a collection of all problems posted and their resolution on Wiki, like a knowledgebase? It would save a lot of time from searching through the endless threads on baanboard...

I do agree with Eli on the chat issue. In the end this site would become a place where baanites socialize..Nothing wrong with that...but wouldnt be appreciated by Employers of baanites...A knowledgebase would have helped that user who wanted urgent help..Almost all the conceivable problems have been discussed and are being discussed and so it should be utilized in a better manner.

sk

patvdv 18th September 2007 12:52

Hi Dilip, Eli,

A chatroom is something we have tried before but in a 'private beta' for moderators only and it was not exactly a success. Apart from technological or legal restrictions, my main concern rests with what Eli already commented. Which is that chat room conversation are very temporary in nature and do not contribute to that overall permanent content of the site. Saving chat logs is a possiblity to circumvent that problem that may pose some privacy issues in itself.

patvdv 18th September 2007 13:07

Hi Sukesh,

Some valid points. Let me answer them individually:
  1. Single sign-on: a shared account for the Wki and forum is currently not possible because the combination of the tools we use (vBulletin & TWiki) do not provide overlapping authentication & user management facilities. I have always considered LDAP as the most suitable candidate to establish a single sign-on. TWiki does support LDAP authentication to some extent but vBulletin does not and it does not seem that is going to be implemented soon either. Another possibility which has come across the horizon recently is OpenID. This could provide the framework to establish a single sign-on but it is still in its infancy and I am hesitant to make our site the victim of an experimental setup. It is something I am keeping an eye on though.
  2. Wiki layout: up until the last major twiki release, the Wiki layout used to resemble somewhat the forum layout. Unfortunately, the default template used in the last twiki release has been changed so drastically that I was unable to hack back in the more familiar look and feel. In the end I decided to sacrifice uniformity for a better wiki readability & usability. If someones feels confident to adjust the standard twiki templates to suit more the look and feel of our forum, then please by all means contact me.
  3. Knowledgebase: this point has been raised in the past. The reason why we provided a Wiki besides the forum is to allow topics, questions and answers from the forum to be transformed into more structured and permanent items. Some members have already tried to attempt to create a FAQ on certain topics or areas with this idea in mind but overall the enthousiasm and contributions have been rather poor. And this is where the problem lies: unless we get some folks willing to put in time and effort to populate the Wiki, it will remain rather useless and people will have to keep relying on reading forum threads. It is not something I feel compelled to do myself to be honest for several reasons. I provide tools and space, it is up to you to do something useful with it.

patvdv 18th September 2007 13:19

vBulletin Blog?
 
In reply to my own question here is a suggestion I would like to get some feedback on. vBulletin recently released an add-on production to their forum software we use, called vBulletin Blog.

vBulletin Blog is a fully featured blogging add-on that enables community members to create their very own online blogs within vBulletin. Giving members a place to post thoughts, ideas and musings will keep users returning to the community again and again, and advanced administration features allow forum owners and moderators to keep control and integrate Blog into vBulletin’s existing look and feel..

See: http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?t=241268

Is this something that would useful to have on our site? How many people would like to maintain their own 'baan' blog on baanboard.com? Pros and Cons?

sukesh75 18th September 2007 17:53

Pat,
Isn't that what the section "General Discussion & Chat" serves right now as?

sk

avpatil 19th September 2007 08:29

I have experience that when I see list of Baan fucntions by alphabet, the functions name seems to be left skewed, and when I click on particular rwo, it will align it correctly. But then there are many functions for an alphabet, I cannot see the entire list. I am not if other user expereince the same issue, but I have expereinced it many times.

Arvind Patil

rduncan10 19th September 2007 16:23

Some thoughts:

Can you add a search box to the form Search menu to search the Wiki? Or maybe add a Google custom search box. For example, if I enter "qss.sort site:baanboard.com" in Google, I get results from the forum and the wiki. Perhaps adding a Google search box to the forum would encourage use of the Wiki. See: http://www.google.com/coop/cse/

Many wikis start with a structure and stubs, which people then fill in. Perhaps setting up stubs in the Baanboard wiki would encourage people to fill it in. It should be something that is easier to browse than the member's area.

I know that MediaWIKI has some extensions that integrate it with vBulletin, but that's probably too major a change.

Rob

george7a 19th September 2007 16:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by rduncan10 (Post 125111)
Can you add a search box to the form Search menu to search the Wiki? Or maybe add a Google custom search box. For example, if I enter "qss.sort site:baanboard.com" in Google, I get results from the forum and the wiki. Perhaps adding a Google search box to the forum would encourage use of the Wiki. See: http://www.google.com/coop/cse/

I was talking with Pat the other day about this and he is checking that out.

patvdv 19th September 2007 17:50

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the feedback. I am looking into adding a google search box into the standard forum search. So will keep you posted on that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by rduncan10
Many wikis start with a structure and stubs, which people then fill in. Perhaps setting up stubs in the Baanboard wiki would encourage people to fill it in. It should be something that is easier to browse than the member's area.

Good point. If I can get some pointers as which stubs or entry points are desireable, I can set them up. What do you mean by 'browsing the members' area'?

rduncan10 20th September 2007 00:27

1 Attachment(s)
An example would be the script Giuseppe Sacco recently posted there for finding and killing inactive users. I found it because he announced it the forum and I've made good use of it.

To find it, go to the Wiki, then select the Users section and locate Giuseppe's name.

Now if you didn't know it was there, how would you find it? What else might others have posted that we can't find.

Instead, I would suggest an organization like this:

Baan Admin Tools
> Linux Scripts
> Kill Inactive Users.

As for the structure and the stubs, I suppose that depends on what the Wiki is for, but if it is to be used as a kind of knowledge base where people share code samples and solutions to common problems, then maybe this would work.

For the parent structure, use the same structure as the forums (maybe the first sticky in each forum could then have a link to its wiki counterpart). Under each parent item have a subitems for Code Samples, FAQs, Documentation.

For the OS and Database area, maybe there should be subitems for the various OSs and databases in use. For the tools area, you might include a more detailed structure: so you could have "String Functions", "Date Functions", "Report Scripts", etc.

Under the Programmer's Manual, it might be nice to have the functions grouped under topical headings (so all string functions under a "String Functions" heading). I would leave the alphabetical listing because that is useful too, but people might find both useful.

Also, as somebody above noted, the display of entries in the Programmers Manual area is off in Internet Explorer 6. See the attached screenshot.

Just my thoughts. Hope it is helpful,
Rob

patvdv 18th November 2007 20:41

The Google Search box has been added as a feature to the forum: see this thread for more information.

george7a 14th January 2008 09:25

Another feature that will help in searching the forum is to be able to tell wither the post/thread you are looking for includes attachments or not.


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