XF 2.2 Forum and thread types

Forums contain threads and threads contain posts. It's been the essential framework of forums on the Internet since the public migrated from usenet to the web.

The structure is well known and well understood - though the origins of some of the terminology are lost in the mists of time. Who ever came up with the notion of your site being a forum, but these separate containers for related threads also being forums? 🤷🏼‍♂️

But back on topic, and we all know that visiting a forum (the second type) will usually show a list of threads ordered with the most recently updated near the top, and that clicking on any of those threads will show a page with the oldest post first and newer posts underneath and on subsequent pages.

Bending discussion forums to varying purposes

Over the years, forum administrators have been inventive and used the simple messages-in-named-containers structure of forums to build all sorts of content - let's look at the XenForo community as an example.

First, we have announcements and these "Have you seen" threads. These are quite focused on the initial post (or first few posts in some HYS threads), with these posts containing a lot of information... a bit like an article with subsequent comments.

Then we have the suggestions forums, where we ask people to up-vote the ideas they're interested in.

There are also support forums where people are looking for answers to questions or solutions to problems.

And of course there are also forums for general chat and discussions, which most closely fit the original notion of a discussion thread and where you can't really say the threads fit the same model as the other types.

Up until now, these forums and the threads within have all been displayed the same way.

But not any more

With XenForo 2.2, we are introducing the concept of Forum and thread types. This is a massive change with enormous ramifications for forums. Today, we're only really going to talk about the admin and user experience of the new systems, but in a few days we're going to follow up with a developer-focused HYS where we will talk about what's going on behind the scenes here, because we're really rather excited about the potential it unlocks.

There is a lot to talk about, but let's just dive into some examples...


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Well-known member
Add my vote to the up/down voting to be on left side, left of profile info keeping profile on left too. Eyes read left to right top to bottom (unless a RTL country). Every other site in the universe puts these on the left, that's where they are expected.

while that’s true... the arrows to the left makes it look funny. Something about the postbit being misaligned.




Well-known member
As I suggested, it should not be on the far left, but between the avatar and the posts. That makes it aligned well and is nice.


Well-known member
Hopefully devs can just give us options as to where it should be placed as this is going to be a personal preference.

Matthew Hutchinson

Active member
I wish XF's default style didn't look so good and that I didn't miss using the software so much...

I recently started a new WordPress site and have been looking for a way to add Q&A and Suggestions sections to it. Unfortunately, the two most popular WP plugins, bbPress and CM Answers, have issues I'm not comfortable risking my site with just to try out and see if they would be a good fit.

These new forum types would be ideal for me and XF's default style would perfectly compliment my site's customized theme. It would also save me the hassle of relying on third-party style updates to keep XF updated.


Well-known member
The second one is also weird as the attribution arrow now does point to the voting section instead of the user info wihch might suggest that the rating belogs to the user.
I just copied/pasted it with my PS skills. It means, the attribution arrows are copied aswell, that is why it looks like this. Of course the arrows should be on the left side, but I didn't bother to correct that... For you, I make another bad example, so it is like you want it. Also the color plays a role, I will change that.


Well-known member
In a question forum/thread with up/downvoting, does it make sense to have like button? Most likely, the actual votes will be divided between voting and liking. Just thinking...
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Well-known member
In a question forum/thread with up/downvoting, does it makes sense to have like button?
You could easily (via node permissions) disallow reactions in a question forums, though that would not work for question threads in a mixed forum and it also would not work if you want to allow other reactions besides like.


Well-known member
You could easily (via node permissions) disallow reactions in a question forums, though that would not work for question threads in a mixed forum and it also would not work if you want to allow other reactions besides like.
Hmm, that’s doable, though if I use this feature, most likely I’ll use thread-based conversion instead (to question thread) of forum-based. The reason being, from my experience, it’s impossible to make the visitors honor the forum types when posting (discussion/question/news etc.). On the contrary, they do usually honor forum subject matter (e.g., movies, music etc.).


Well-known member
3.0 would be a complete rewrite of the backend, like what happened from XF1 to XF2. And as @Brogan says, I wouldn't expect it for quite a while either. I remember reading that the developers had hit the wall in terms of how they could extend XF1, hence the ground-up development of XF2. If these last two HYS threads are any indication, they are a long way from exhausting the possibilities of XF2.
I'm don't think a 3.0 version would necessarily have to be a "complete rewrite of the backend," just because they did it with 2.0. Just saying. :whistle:


Well-known member
And just when I was starting to build my own system for this! This will save me a ton of time. I'll have to wait for the developer updates on this but another great addition to an already amazing platform.