XF 2.2 Article thread and forum updates and improvements

article previews.jpg
Screenshot 2020-07-31 at 12.54.25.png
When we first announced support for article-type threads and forums, we noted that this was an initial foray and that revised styling was in the pipeline.

Today, we can show you some of those revisions and the options that come with them.

Revised article styling​

Screenshot 2020-07-31 at 12.31.41.png
Firstly, we have some updates for the main article thread page.

The author section at the bottom of the article has had some attention to visually separate it a little more from the article body, and in order to provide a bit more meat for search engines to bite into, the author's about text is rendered underneath their name too.

As articles can be very long, we also show the author's name in the attribution bar at the top of the article too, along with the number of comments that can be found below the article body.

Behind the scenes, we've also added schema.org metadata markup to help identify this content as an article and associated author, which will be more highly regarded as quality content by search engines than a standard forum thread.

Screenshot 2020-07-31 at 12.28.12.png


New listing layouts​

For 2.2.0 beta 1, article forums can list their contents either in standard thread listing format, or the new 'expanded' view.

Screenshot 2020-07-31 at 11.37.39.png Screenshot 2020-07-31 at 11.37.28.png

With 2.2.0 beta 2, these options have had a re-think.

Screenshot 2020-07-31 at 13.02.24.png


We have renamed the 'Full' option, which shows a standard thread listing to Standard. (We have also renamed any other instances where a thread listing is shown from full to standard, you'll find this mostly in widget options)

Expanded view​

Screenshot 2020-07-31 at 12.42.37.png
The existing Expanded option has been revised, and now pulls a modified version of the full article first-post template that removes the footer controls and adds the article title.

If you set the snippet length option here to 0, the entire first post (the article) will be rendered in the list, such that multiple full articles are visible on the listing page, much as you would expect to find on a blog.

Of course, you can choose a snippet length if your articles tend to be very long, or if you want people to view articles on their own canonical page along with their comments.

Preview​

Screenshot 2020-07-31 at 12.54.25.png
Preview is our new, third display option for article listings.

It displays article blocks in a responsive grid, with the first article on the page occupying the full width of the page, the next few being half-width and the subsequent blocks occupying a quarter width. The grid is entirely CSS driven, and I'm sure we'll see all manner of different layouts in use with custom CSS before too long.

Preview mode is intended to be used with a snippet of the article text, and includes the ability to show a cover image, which currently fetches the first embedded image from the article, whether that be hot linked with an [IMG] tag, or directly attached. If no image can be found, the layout will gracefully omit the cover image.

The most important info about the article is all here, including the author's name and avatar, a link to the comments and indicators to show unread comments.

Inline moderation works in all article listings now.

Screenshot 2020-07-31 at 13.01.01.png

Similar schema.org metadata markup to that in full and expanded articles is also present in previews.

It's worth noting that the cover image only has to be the first embed in the article in order to be used as a cover, but it does not necessarily have to be visible. A sneaky trick to get a cover image that is separate from the content of the article is to set its width and height to 0, rendering it invisible in the actual article body.

Screenshot 2020-07-31 at 12.52.40.png

Conclusion​

Article threads and forums are an important part of the feature set for XenForo 2.2, and one that we intend to continue to develop as time goes on. This is probably as far as we'll go for 2.2, but we hope that you'll be happy with what we've done so far.

I should also add some credit to The Brothers Brick, whose excellent RSS feed populates my article test data - Kier
 

imno007

Well-known member
Is there a way to rename "Articles" (per node, preferably) to something else without creating problems? Probably not, but thought I would ask. Would certainly allow for more content types!
 

imno007

Well-known member
It's probably possible with conditional statements targeting the node IDs.
Thanks, Brogan. I'll wait for someone else to (hopefully) sort that out, but for now I was just curious. If you could do that, with a couple of additional options (like a table of contents), it would allow you to set up nodes for users to submit stories, wiki entries, or whatever floats your boat, and I imagine go a long ways toward being the cms that many people have been asking for for so long.
 

joshg

Member
Is it possible to restrict content type by usergroup and users? I'd like to enable Articles, but I ONLY want moderators, administrators, and a couple of named individuals to be able to post Articles.
 

JoyFreak

Well-known member
Is it possible to restrict content type by usergroup and users? I'd like to enable Articles, but I ONLY want moderators, administrators, and a couple of named individuals to be able to post Articles.
This is definitely something I wanted too. Would be good to offer user group permissions for thread types!

I’m sure someone will try to snag a couple of bucks by creating an add-on at some point.
 

Mouth

Well-known member
Is it possible to restrict content type by usergroup and users? I'd like to enable Articles, but I ONLY want moderators, administrators, and a couple of named individuals to be able to post Articles.
Restrict your article node(s) to only allow thread creation by above users?
 

JoyFreak

Well-known member
Restrict your article node(s) to only allow thread creation by above users?
I think he means a discussion node with a thread type selected. Allowing users to still post discussions and having certain user group(s) allowed to create articles.
 

drastic

Well-known member
Is there a widget location for "article" sidebars?

Would like to use a sidebar so the article thread is not super wide on desktop screens. Optimal viewing is probably 400-600 pixels, or a bit higher with bigger font size.
 

Abizaga

Active member
This new article type feature makes for an amazing homepage. :D

Is there a widget location for "article" sidebars?

Would like to use a sidebar so the article thread is not super wide on desktop screens. Optimal viewing is probably 400-600 pixels, or a bit higher with bigger font size.
You would have to set up a new set of widgets for "Forum view: Sidebar" and set the display condition to only appear for that one specific node.
 
Last edited:
Top