Light+Dark themes and new forum functionality you should know about

Started by Oshyan, August 04, 2019, 01:40:17 pm

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Oshyan

Hey all, the new forum upgrade has brought some useful new features that we thought you should be aware of so you can take advantage of them if you'd like. First-up are our new theme options, but scroll down below for info on new features as well!

Light and Dark Themes
First and foremost, we now have custom light and dark themes that you can switch between. You can see examples of both below. The default theme is Light.

Light Theme

Dark Theme

To change your theme preference just go to the drop-down by your name at the top of the forums, click to expand, click again on Look and Layout...
 

Then near the top where it says "Current theme", to the right click "Change" next to the currently set theme name (which by default will be "Planetside Forums Light Theme"). On the next screen scroll down and select your desired theme by clicking "Using this theme" and you're done!




New Features
We also have a bunch of useful new features to help make your forum experience richer, more interactive, and more convenient.

WYSIWYG
There are a lot of new things, both large and small, but I think one of the best is the improvement to the post editor. Both the "Quick Reply" and full post editors are now fully "What You See Is What You Get", making more complicated formatting a lot easier to achieve. Putting this post together was a lot more pleasant in the new editor than it would have been in the old!

Improved Quoting
One thing many users ran into difficulties with on the old forum was the funky quoting behavior. Getting the position of the quote tags right was always a pain, especially with nesting of quotes. This has been greatly improved with the new version due to the WYSIWYG editor. You can see exactly how your quote will appear. Even better, you can now select just the text you want to quote and quote only that part with the "Quote selected text" button.

@Mentions
This is more or less borrowed from social media, but it's actually really useful. Have you ever wanted to call someone's attention to a particular thread or post? In the past you had to either private message or email them, or just hope they'd see and reply to it. Now you can just type the @ symbol and start typing their name and a dynamic search will come up letting you select a username to notify. Once you select their name from the list they'll get a notification.

Likes
OK, "likes" are not universally, er, liked on social media platforms, etc. But how many times have you seen an image post thread or a file share with 10s or hundreds of views, but only a few replies? Lots of people don't necessarily feel like posting a reply, but they might take the time to quickly "like" something, and this can be a good sign of support from those who don't engage as deeply but still appreciate what others are doing. We also hope this functionality can contribute to people finding the best answers to a question in a thread, or eventually morph into a more dedicated system that does this specifically, such as "pick best answer".

Improved Notifications/"Alerts"
The notification system has been notably improved as well. You can now choose to get "desktop" notifications, i.e. your browser or operating system can actually notify you of new posts in threads you follow, new private messages, etc. You can of course choose between email notification or desktop notifications. There is also a nice in-forum Alerts system at the top of the screen that shows you new activities that are relevant to you, such as people @mentioning you, or Liking your post, or even quoting you. You can customize your preferences for all of this quite in-depth in the Settings for Alerts (reached by pressing Alerts and then Settings, or just using the link above).

Improved Attachment Functions
You can now add attachments to a post simply by dragging and dropping in the Attach area (you need to expand the "Attachments and other options" section below the post window to see this). Note that attachment functions are not available on Quick Reply (at the bottom of each forum thread), but if you start a post and press Preview you'll get the full editor with attachment options.

Additionally if an image is too large or otherwise problematic, you'll now get better error messages and info instead of a white screen or other loading error (or having your topic end up unloadable, which happened occasionally before!).

Additional Search Options
In the upper-right of the forum you now have a drop-down next to the search box that lets you choose whether to search the current thread (very useful for long threads!), the entire board you're in, the entire forum, or search for Members. It's a little thing, but can save a lot of time.

Drafts
Have you ever been writing a post and your browser crashed, or maybe you had a momentary wifi hiccup, and you lost everything you had written? The new Drafts functionality can help! While you're typing, your post text should now be auto-saved every 30 seconds as a "draft". You can also manually save a draft with the Save Draft button. Then if you lose things for any reason, you can go to your forum profile and click Show Drafts under your user info/icon on the left. Click Edit Draft to pick up where you left off.

Spell Check
For those of you who don't have a browser that includes spell checking, there is now a spell check option in the bottom toolbar. This opens a separate window to run a spell checker that works across all browsers.

Gravatar Support
This is a small one, but for those of you who use Gravatar you can now reference your Gravatar account here so you can keep your avatar(s) up to date across multiple sites more easily.

Improved Performance
The new version improves performance in various ways, including a new caching system.

And More...
There are a ton of other little things as well. Explore and see if you find anything else cool!

- Oshyan

archonforest

Dell T5500 with Dual Hexa Xeon CPU 3Ghz, 32Gb ram
Amiga 1200 8Mb ram, 8Gb ssd

KlausK

/ ASUS WS Mainboard / Dual XEON E5-2640v3 / 64GB RAM / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 TI / Win7 Ultimate

Dune

Great, much better spread over the page. Thanks Oshyan!

CredePendrel