Forums: Helping Hand > Forum Layout

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First of all I'm going to give the links to all previous forum post (those I found at least): [Forum:Welcome to the Helping Hand], [Forum:Add a forum viewer to the Home page], [Forum:New forum post style]. Now, as most of you have noticed these days, I had played with, tweaked and improved some forum templates, as best as I could, as they were badly organised - not categorized, etc. I even created a copy forum page to try new features. Some features that I managed to add are: boxes and background of the same color as the main page, less pages in main page but with "older"/"newer" GO TO pages to cycle through all other pages. Check it here. What do you think? Is there any aspect you don't like? Would you like it implemented on the true forum index page? Maybe different colors?

EDIT:I am also oriented towards adding an appropriate image like other wikia forums have. Maybe an Inn or tavern picture. Haven't found the right one yet... Additionally, I wanted to say that some other wikia use the "special:forum", but if we start using that the previous topics - threads will remain in the old forum namespace.

Jandor (talk) 23:30, October 8, 2015 (UTC)

I just refurbished the new version of our Forum Index. Ι added direct links to forum pages. Our forum pages are currently around 289 and in each "Forum Index" page 25 of them are shown, from newest to oldest. The most difficult part was to write teh code so as to make the next/previous page feature as neat as possible. Also, I couldn't find a nice picture to put in the top right so as to give a bit of illustration to our forum, so if anyone comes with a nice idea, feel free to write it here or change that page above to even test it...

So dear Admins, you can implement any of these changes to our forum index page. Of course, I would like to hear your opinions on some aspects: A. How do you thing of that page as our new forum look? B. Do you think we should add a picture on the right top of that page or smthing similar as a tavern-inn illustrator? C. Do you want the next/previous page feature? If yes, do you like it with the pages link? D. You you like the forum topics shown per forum index page to be 25, 30, 50 or another number? E. The link to "older entries" of topics can be named to anything from older pages, previous pages, previous topics, etc.. What is the best to your opinion?

Jandor (talk) 22:20, October 13, 2015 (UTC)

And one more redesign of the forum page, based on the new main page style: Forum 2015:Index. Previous is here: New Forum:Index. Any negative feedback? No?
Jandor (talk) 08:28, October 22, 2015 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I kept missing this while concentrating on other projects here and when I did try to respond I lost the time.

First, great work. A little colour and design make the Forums much more inviting. I much prefer your second design; the scroll-banner is a great welcoming splash image.

The area below the banner seems a bit cluttered though. The yellow box style is largely used for headings on the Main Page, so it seems odd to see it just holding text here. Perhaps we can just put the notices in plain text and space things out a bit there. An image would help with that. "Add a new topic" could sit below the banner in the centre to be more noticeable. Those at the bottom of the screen can also move up to this area.

"View recent changes to Forum Pages" just takes me back to Recent Changes. I don't see the need for this and the refresh button as well. I feel it should be removed. Ah, the one at the bottom works properly. Okay, that's more useful.

I'm all in favour of an image. I'll keep an eye out of a nice, suitable one. Another option is a town assembly hall or city council chamber sort of thing, something illustrating people in a meeting. I think it should sit just below the banner, on the right side of the page.

I don't mind having all the topics listed on one page to easily search through, but I see the benefit of limiting the number to seem more tidy and up-to-date. Perhaps we could increase the number, to 50 say? At 25, they only go back three months and many are still active issues (though we have had a lot of projects recently).

— BadCatMan (talk) 12:07, October 22, 2015 (UTC)

That looks nice :) Do you have any control over the date format? It would look better if the month were abbreviated so the dates didn't wrap to the next line in the Oasis skin.
Moviesign (talk) 13:02, October 22, 2015 (UTC)

Thanks BCM and Movie! I made some changes towards the above (moved links, renamed button, converted forum to 50 pages offset, etc). Still more to do of course. Movie, for the problem you stated (I wanted to change it from the very first time I got my hands on forum) I think it needs too difficult css and also most probably javascript (maybe with some wording from here but still to difficult. Couldn't actually change autoinserted datetime) However, I discovered a set of easier moves to solve the messy presentation of the forum table data. I removed some "width" and paddings from inline style (css) and transfered it to my css pages. With the addition of vertical alignment it does its magic! Those will be needed for new Forum to look good. So, with them the big difference is essentially in oasis skin with the problem movie mentioned nearly solved.If you want, please load MediaWiki:Wikia.css with the following
/** New forum layout - 2015 **/
/* Table data vertical align: top */
td.forum_title, td.forum_edited, td.forum_editor {
  vertical-align: top
/* Table header horizontal align using padding and width for date fix*/
th.forum_title {
   padding: 0.1em 0.1em 0.1em 0.1em; 
th.forum_edited {
   padding: 0.1em 0.1em 0.1em 0.2em;
th.forum_editor {
   padding: 0.1em 0.3em 0.1em 0.1em;
/* Margins for Table of "add topic button" */ 
#tableaddnewtopicforum {
    margin: 0.2em 0.2em 0.2em 0.2em;
and MediaWiki:Common.css with
/** New forum layout - 2015 **/
/* Margins for Table of "add topic button" */
#tableaddnewtopicforum {
    margin: 1.2em 0.5em 1.3em 0.2em;
Check it here: Forum 2015:Index . Much better? :) Guys if you also feel so, in the following days I will load the true Forum page with the new layout. Of course it's always a work in progress.
Jandor (talk) 19:44, October 23, 2015 (UTC)

I had a play your forum redesign at User:BadCatMan/Forum:Index attempt, including an image and using some of the text to develop a help area below the banner. I'm not sure where to put the "Add a new topic" box and button though. I wanted a colour image, but colour mostly comes in with 3rd edition, and the artwork in later editions is usually too adventure-focused for something as mundane as a tavern. I did find a B&W image of a tavern I uploaded ages ago that I realised was perfect for what we wanted, so I used that.
— BadCatMan (talk) 12:46, October 24, 2015 (UTC)

Great work BCM! Really great! It's a nice image, a welcoming one to our forum pages! Black and white isn't also distracting. I could say it is a perfect one! I straight forward copied your changes to my working. With css we can easily change attributes for the different skins, so if somethings isn't ok in one we can modify it in the other of course. I think the new forum is ready for upload. There are only some small bits of changes in my mind, but still not ready to make them it's kinda ready!
Jandor (talk) 17:33, October 24, 2015 (UTC)

I like the image.

Great work, folks!

~ Lhynard (talk) 17:17, October 27, 2015 (UTC)

Great job! I like what you did with the Add New Topic button.
— BadCatMan (talk) 12:46, October 29, 2015 (UTC)

It's getting attention, but the least it should as you said. (Border color a bit darker than others below which blends better with the black&white image. Frame only as wide as it needs in each skin. Rounded corners (CSS3) round only as rounded the button is in oasis skin, and in reteurn these softer rounds grab attention in a more polite way) It's collaboration of all of us as always.
Jandor (talk) 17:33, October 29, 2015 (UTC)
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