XF 2.2 Forum and thread types

1596357716555.png
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:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Serpius

Active member
Most of my forums in my new website will be mostly 'Product Announcements'.

Which one of the Forum types would fit this?

Is it possible that I can create my own 'Forum type' for this type of forum?
 

Mangini

Well-known member
Most of my forums in my new website will be mostly 'Product Announcements'.

Which one of the Forum types would fit this?

Is it possible that I can create my own 'Forum type' for this type of forum?

I could see the Suggestions type work and your community can vote on the most useful products that get announced.
 

Chromaniac

Well-known member
They have. The system is open for third party development. I imagine there would be tens of new content type available after launch from addon developers.
 

Mangini

Well-known member
Based on the discussions around the forums I am betting the best new features are still yet to come once addon developers get their hands on 2.2.

(no offense XF team ;))
 

GPA-R

Active member
If you move a suggestion into a discussion forum, would it lose its votes? If I were to move it back, would the votes be there?
 

DigNap15

Active member
As I have said before (above)
I really like the articles idea.
But I just hope the XF are not opening a can of worms with all these differeent options and possible mixing of types.
There just seems to be so many fishhooks
How will we all be able to keep it together?
 

Chromaniac

Well-known member
Ok. So, I might have missed something on this. Was just wondering if it is possible (or planned) to do thread type conversion from inside the thread. For instance, if I make an existing forum a mixed content type forum and have old threads that are more suited for one of the new thread types… what option do I have?

There is also the issue of forum members not picking the right type of thread type while posting fresh content. It is bound to happen.

It just feels weird to convert nodes to a different thread type on a 16-year-old forum. The safer option seems to be to either start fresh nodes for dedicated thread types or switch to mixed and convert on demand. One good example of this is… old threads with questions posted by people in a regular forum. Not all content in the node are questions!

On related note… is it possible to convert a regular thread to one of the new nodes (like article) by moving it a dedicated article node and moving it back to mixed content node?

Beta release can’t come fast enough. Have so many unanswered questions that can just be resolved by testing personally. Thanks!
 

Steffen

Well-known member
Have you considered turning reports into thread types, too? Currently, the admin has to decide whether he wants to use the report center (with useful tools like notifying the reporter, but not integrated with internal forums and not visible in "new posts" etc which causes discussions in those reports to go unnoticed by most moderators) or report threads (integrated with internal forums but no tools available).
 
Top