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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Chromaniac

Well-known member
you can convert an existing node to suggestion type. all threads would become a suggestion as a result. something like what xenforo did with their own suggestion node!

 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
It's not related to an XF forum set up at all - it's just custom HTML and CSS with the content manually entered.

Inspect the page to see how it's constructed and you can reproduce it from that.
 

Idhae

Active member
It would be nice to batch update forums to allow all thread_types to existing forums.
Something like that realistic in the future?
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
If by template you mean style, if it's a third party style you would have to contact the author for an updated compatible version.

If it's a style you are designing yourself, if you start with a default style then it will work.

You can post in one of the customer support forums if you need any more help.
 

ibrian

Well-known member
Correct. (You can change the forum type after the fact; it'll change threads within it if needed.)
I'm not seeing this come up - I have a "Book Search" board on my forums, but when I go into the nod, it has "Discussions" as a the defaul option and greyed out so it can't be changed.

Although I can add "Questions" as an option, it still means new Book Search threads default to being Discussions, unless someone specifically selects the Question tab.
 

imno007

Well-known member
I'm not seeing this come up - I have a "Book Search" board on my forums, but when I go into the nod, it has "Discussions" as a the defaul option and greyed out so it can't be changed.

Although I can add "Questions" as an option, it still means new Book Search threads default to being Discussions, unless someone specifically selects the Question tab.
You'd have to change the node type. After clicking on the node in the admin, click the big blue button on the upper right that says, "Change type"
 
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