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Camera-Enthusiast.com - My first XenForo Site!!

Discussion in 'Forum Showcase and Critiques' started by moman, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. moman

    moman Active Member

    Ra, Lost, Digital Doctor and 2 others like this.
  2. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

  3. moman

    moman Active Member

    No, it's a custom CMS/PHP framework I've written from the ground up. It's an improved version of what I use for my pentax site :)

    I will explore using other colors for the site- maybe making the font white or closer to white would make it more readable?
    kyrgyz likes this.
  4. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    very cool.
    The reviews Tab feels like a native xenforo tab ... But I guess it is not. Are you using the xenforo editor ? Are you using the Zend framework like Xenforo ? Could you easily add a xenforo Comments thread ? or a Xenforo "Like" to your reviews ? Maybe you have your own comments engine ? Could you get your review to show up in Xenforo's What's New ? Could you get xenforo avatars to appear in your comments ?

  5. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    Doc thanks for the alert - yes the reviews look great - there are a lot of XF folk desperate for a good articles system because XF hasn't had time to develop their Pages. Maybe moman might be interested in a mod?

    Could you tell us about your reviews and how they work?

    What I want is your reviews functions or very similar
    plus bbcode editing so I can upload images and do layout flexibly and easily AND selegate updates to mods who don't do html

    Most of all I want to be able to flexibly create various kinds of listing items.
    So for example the Article is the basic template
    but I can derive others from it like Quote. I just add more fields for this type of item - a Quote would need the same Title, Content, author, date as an Article. /But additionally a field for its own author, and another for text on its background.
    Another type would be a Picture, or series of say 4 pictures with data about.
    But I don't want someone else's pre-set types. I want to select the fields needed for each type of item. Select from existing fields, and add textboxes, textfield/ dropdown/ tickboxes.
    Then I just select an item to fill out like selecting a node type in XF admincp.

    I prefer comments to go in a forum thread. Contentteller does that, together with a duplicate of the thread under the article.

    Oh and my members can contribute but not create types.
    They then have a profile page button to generate their own personal page displaying their contributions.
  6. moman

    moman Active Member

    At the moment, my system is powered by a framework I've written myself (with 2 design goals: to deliver good performance and to minimize development overhead). I simply call it "page", but I'm sure I'll come up with a more creative name at some point. I once applied it to a school CMS development project and had the entire system up in two hours whereas my other classmates were struggling to get their products out within 2 weeks...I guess that shows that my design was at least somewhat on the right track ;) In any case, the framework as such it is able to connect to the xenforo database and use information from the forum (I've written a "xf_db" class for the purpose). It does not, however, hook into the xF code directly, as my framework conflicts with zend. That's a separate matter, though- I can probably re-work the namespaces, autoloaders, etc. in such a way that it does not.

    As far as the remainder of your questions go, yes, all of those would be possible. That's the beautiful of writing an application specifically for your web site! You'll notice that the homepage news cms already has its own commenting system which makes use of your xf account, so it's seamless to post there.

    My goal is to at some point publicly release a CMS which a. easily integrates with a variety of forum software and b. makes it easy to create custom types of content. I'm not even close to being able to do this, but it's something I will be exploring over the course of the next 2-3 years. I will definitely be sharing it here if/when it becomes a reality.

    I simply use tinymce as the review editor, which is the same as what xf uses, right? There's one catch: for privileged users, I allow the use of certain php calls in the text body, so that stuff like table of contents, ratings, and comparison boxes doesn't have to be manually coded up every time.
    Digital Doctor likes this.
  7. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    sorry you really wanted feedback on your site in general

    Well I'm not a fan of dark backgrounds but you do it very well. I can read everything!
    Logo is not a colour I like but I like its understated workerlike look.
    Love the merged secondary tabs. Elegance to die for.
    Nor do I love orange/ turquoise combos on colours. But I like the colour you use on links - a slightly purple blue, not strong. That looks great against your dark.
    I like the top notice - very crisp but friendly.
    I don't get why some links are white and some blue? oh white are empty I see. Think that makes the empty ones bang out in my face too much. Maybe better to reverse it - make the content fillled ones the prominent ones.
    Latest Images is really good but it's lost at the bottom because you have a long forumlist. Could you do a mini version up top? Maybe just a fake version as a graphical link?
    as in put this somewhere?

    pssst if you're a coder how about a Collapse for all categories except for one admin selects?

    and last but not least YES I like your cms!
    You might even tempt me to use one because yours is so clean and unfussy. But powerful.
    moman likes this.
  8. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    Oh bliss the guy uses a bbcode editor for the reviews!
    <--- faints
    someone understands there is no great virtue in coding html for every single simple layout page.
    Also my point about delegating to others not html savvy. Have been banging that one since XF started.
  9. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    One small important detail
    I don't think the pic of the child on your Review example, last page, is a safe idea.
    That kind of pic is a gift to paedophiles. (The child's mouth is open.)
    Ugly issue, sorry. But I wouldn't want the pic of any child I know misused for ugliness. Nor any child really but at least we can control exposure on our own sites.
  10. moman

    moman Active Member

    Morgain, thanks for your feedback! As with all my sites I take user comments into consideration to deliver an improved product over time :)

    When I first started paying reviewers about a year ago, I had them write reviews in notepad and do the html themselves. And that ended up meaning that some 3/4th of the time spent on each review was html q&a and bugfixes. Once I rolled out my review system this summer, my users were able to fork out reviews much faster. So, if you ask me, it doesn't matter whether it's bbcode or html as much as what the WYSIWYG editor can do. For forums, bbcode is better as it's more secure. However, for reviews, plain bbcode formatting might not always be sufficient!
  11. moman

    moman Active Member

    That's a studio photo taken specifically for the review- shouldn't be a problem!
  12. Deepmartini

    Deepmartini Well-Known Member

    Site looks good, lots of activity. Are you using XenPorta or is that a default Xenforo setup with just some sidebar tweaks? Nice and concise and good overview of site contents.
  13. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    It's his own cms - read his stuff Deep it's interesting.
  14. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    Unless you want grids I think the only significant omission is wrapping text on images.
    There's a mod does that and I think it might do grids as well.
  15. moman

    moman Active Member

    Yes- table bbcode. I've written a parser for that myself ;)

    See above for info on the CMS.

    What about when you want to compare images side by side and have a sample set of 30 images? Then you need html!
  16. Deepmartini

    Deepmartini Well-Known Member

    I like those social media icons on the top of the articles on the homepage! Very nice. Xenporta should have that!
  17. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    Well that's a pretty specialised need I can see you would want.

    I'm a writer and editor not a photographer. So I just want text management including an illustration here and there.
  18. moman

    moman Active Member

    Once I get a solid grasp on xenforo modding I will try to release a tightly integrated beta version of this framework, but as I said, it might be a while. Seems like there's quite a large need for a good CMS, though- it seems like something that forum systems have been plagued by for a while. And one thing's for sure- vB4 failed at it!
    Deepmartini, kyrgyz and Morgain like this.
  19. Garamond

    Garamond Well-Known Member

    Nice site, but the author lacks an avatar ;)
  20. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    (1) Page Comments: Very cool. Lightweight.

    Suggestion: Comments thread should be a native Xenforo thread.

    Benefits: Review (or News) comments become a part of the forums (where the action is). It will bring more attention to the Reviews and hopefully insight from other members. It will help bring Reviews/News the attention they deserve. New comments would put the review back at the top of "What's New".

    Essentially, I think you want your Article to be a part of What's New. I also think that could be done with your own commenting system ... but it would require you to have a "placeholder" (aka "redirect:) in Xenforo that would automatically get bumped to the top of What's New. (I'll describe more later).

    (2) Add "Watch" and "Like"
    Adding Like would bring some life into the Article.
    Possibly the Review Author would "auto-watch" all their reviews by default, such that they will receive "Alerts" ... person XYZ replied to "Kickoff Photo Contest - Win a Fuji X10 or $100!".

    Watching a News article or Review for the people whom really like the topic could bring some serious attention to the Reviews.

    In Real estate, the three most important things are: Location, Location, Location. Well, in Xenforo the prime location is What's New. If you aren't there you are in the cheap end of town. (This is made worse by the lack of Forum Watching in Xenforo).

    I think your Article "Addon" are quite cool already. As you said, it might take "a few years" for it to be what you want it to be. Another idea for your current site would be to "tweak" xenforo to be an article manager.

    More later :)

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