XF 2.2 Forum and thread types

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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...

tl;dr

We're prefer you to read all the details below, but if you just want the juicy bits:
 
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Stuart Wright

Well-known member
Please tell me that question threads aren't limited to question forums. Because question forums aren't going to work on many forum including AVForums. We have a forum for discussing topics - like LG TVs. That forum has all the eyes of people interested in and knowledgeable about LG TVs. It's not appropriate for that to be a question forum because at least half the threads won't be questions. Yet some people will have questions and that is the best place for them.
So can question threads be created as such by using a specific Question prefix? I really hope the answer is yes, because I can't use Question threads otherwise.
 

beerForo

Well-known member
I can just imagine all the new business from this, for new forums and migrations alike, for all those with niche sites that have needed this. I know there's a few here already planning new ones. This is awesome. Congrats and thanks to the team.
 

Mike

XenForo developer
Staff member
Please tell me that question threads aren't limited to question forums. Because question forums aren't going to work on many forum including AVForums. We have a forum for discussing topics - like LG TVs. That forum has all the eyes of people interested in and knowledgeable about LG TVs. It's not appropriate for that to be a question forum because at least half the threads won't be questions. Yet some people will have questions and that is the best place for them.
So can question threads be created as such by using a specific Question prefix? I really hope the answer is yes, because I can't use Question threads otherwise.
See the section about multiple thread types in general discussion forums. You can have questions in more general forums.
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
Please tell me that question threads aren't limited to question forums. Because question forums aren't going to work on many forum including AVForums. We have a forum for discussing topics - like LG TVs. That forum has all the eyes of people interested in and knowledgeable about LG TVs. It's not appropriate for that to be a question forum because at least half the threads won't be questions. Yet some people will have questions and that is the best place for them.
So can question threads be created as such by using a specific Question prefix? I really hope the answer is yes, because I can't use Question threads otherwise.
I think you missed this post:

A "General" forum can contain multiple thread types - including questions.
 

Rudy

Well-known member
"...and the hits just keep on coming!!" The first few 2.2 features were like, "Meh, OK, that's good." Then the editor improvements. Now this. Now we know why 2.2 has taken a while! I can't say I'll use any or all of these, but with this kind of flexibility it provides us with a lot of excellent options for the future! These are great improvements--take a bow!

I'm guessing that there is probably a way (through a few standard XF mechanisms like using a page node and PHP callbacks and/or template options) to feature the latest five articles on their own XF page. We don't really want a full-fledged blog but it would be great to feature certain articles on their own, with the option to hop over and join the discussion.

I should see if there is already a suggestion for this, or create one of my own, but having a way to comment on posts would fix a problem I am having trying to implement something in our coming forum upgrade. But I'll wait until all the HYS posts have been made here for 2.2 before I bother. 😉

P.S. Yes, another suggestion--we really need a version of XF for the TI99/4A. My monochrome monitor would thank you. 😁
 
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