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Category and Forum Nodes - Why different?

Discussion in 'XenForo Questions and Support' started by ManagerJosh, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Well-Known Member

    So I'm configuring my forums at the moment and I'm just wondering why forums and category nodes were categorized as two separate entities.

    I do appreciate the clarity of the two being separate, but at the same time, I wonder why we couldn't switch back and forth between the two.
  2. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Category nodes can be used in 2 ways.
    They can either be used as anchors in the forum home page or they can be used as separate pages.


    Additionally, threads can't be created in category nodes but they can in forum nodes.
    dondomainer likes this.
  3. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Well-Known Member

    Very true, but at the same time I wonder why we can't go from forum to category and vice-versa.
  4. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    I'm sorry but I don't understand your point.
    A category contains forums and a forum contains threads.

    They serve two different purposes.
  5. Paul M

    Paul M Well-Known Member

    A forum can also contain forums.

    I presume hes asking why you cannot change a category into a forum, and vice versa ?

    Another way to look at it - a category is just a forum [with no threads] so why is it a different type ?
  6. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Well-Known Member

    Not to drag vBulletin into the comparison, but there was that awesome switch that changed a forum into a category and vice versa.
  7. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    That's true, I omitted that from my post.

    Why would you want to change a category to a forum though, and vice versa?

    Well a category is displayed on the forum home page.
    Presumably any threads in that category would also be displayed on forum home in the same way forums within that category are?

    That would make for a very messy and long forum home page...
  8. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Well-Known Member

    well it's a matter of perspective for me. I like switching between the two because sometimes when I'm cleaning things up, or introducing new forums I explore different perspectives between the two and see how they look overall
  9. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    It's really deep, technical reasons. All sorts of things rely on the node type, including some unique checks, URLs, general handling, permission that apply, etc. It's really just a different concept to what you're used to, so it's not really reasonable to pull that in. :)
    Ahmed likes this.
  10. Kier

    Kier XenForo Developer Staff Member

    I think it's worth pointing out some of those technical differences.

    In vBulletin 1, there were separate database tables for forums and categories, and they were genuinely different items. With vBulletin 2 and our introduction of infinitely (theoretically) nestable forums, it made sense to merge forums and categories into a single data type for performance reasons. Therefore, in vBulletin, a category is a forum, it's just a forum with 'Can contain posts' turned off. That's the only difference between the data.

    Conversely, XenForo places forums and categories into a flexible node tree, into which any kind of data can be placed. In XenForo, categories, forums, links and pages are all nodes, but categories and forums both extend the node concept in different directions. They have different options, permissions and all sorts of other differences that means that unlike vBulletin, it's far from trivial to turn a forum into a category, and it's certainly not something you'd want to do on regular basis.
    JJJ, CBI Web, Fusion and 4 others like this.
  11. Ra

    Ra Active Member

    Two days ago spent an hour changing from forum to category.
    12 times sent Kier and Co to hell desperatly trying to find a way to save my time :D
    It would be a real hard thing to convert f-s into c-s some day if you decide that you don't need users leave posts in the forum - I changed manually all the forums, thanks god I have just tens of them.
    I have no idea but could there be any way to make it easier - I'd welcome that.
    Ahmed likes this.
  12. jonsidneyb

    jonsidneyb Well-Known Member

    Ok...learned something valuable just now.
  13. Ahmed

    Ahmed Well-Known Member

    A few days ago when I was playing with my test forum I created a forum when I was intending to create a category. Then I wanted to change the forum to a category but I couldn't find how to do that. I thought it was a bug or a missing feature and thought someone would report about it. Today, again, I created a category when I was aiming to create a forum, and couldn't find how to change the category to a forum.
    OK, this is NOT a bug, and it's NOT a missing feature, as I see IT IS A FEATURE.

    You might have a point in making it work like this, but to be honest, I find vB more flexible regarding this, and it's useful to make it so.
    Please take into account making it easy to change one node type to on of the others, because there are a lot of people may want to put a forum as a category and vise-versa, or maybe some day someone will want to change the page into forum and vise-versa. It's really a very important feature that we need to use from time to time.
  14. Kier

    Kier XenForo Developer Staff Member

    The concepts are simply not the same. You wouldn't post a thread and expect to be able to turn it into a private message, would you? Just because vBulletin stores the data in that way doesn't mean that we are going to do it in the same way. In fact, we do it differently, and in our opinion, better.
    Mr Lucky, CBI Web, Forsaken and 3 others like this.
  15. Ahmed

    Ahmed Well-Known Member

    Yes, I know.
    I didn't mean you should do it the same way vB does, what I meant is that there should be a way to change one node type to another. Just in case someone will need to do that in his forum.

    BTW, I think this way is better too, just if we can also change node types, that will be perfect. :)
  16. Quillz

    Quillz Well-Known Member

    I have to admit I found "nodes" a little confusing at first, but now that I understand how they work, I think they're a really good idea.
    Fusion likes this.
  17. Ahmed

    Ahmed Well-Known Member

    Yes, they are a good idea, the only issue is when an admin wants/needs to change one node type to another.
  18. mjp

    mjp Well-Known Member

    That makes no sense from a technical standpoint. Everyone is complaining about a few clicks to create another node - it's crazy. Are your fingers that fatigued that it's a burden, those few clicks? Damn, man.

    "Dear Honda, it would be more convenient for me if I could switch the speedometer to a tachometer at my leisure. I understand that they are right next to each other, but I'm used to looking at the right side of the console and it is terribly inconvenient to look two inches to the left when I need to know my RPMs. So I really NEED to be able to make that switch whenever I'd like to. Thank you."
  19. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Again, I will ask the question, why would you want to change a category to a forum and vice versa?

    Why not just create a new forum and delete the old category?
    Likewise for changing a forum to a category, create a new category and delete the old forum.
  20. Boothby

    Boothby Active Member

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