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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content type
Thread Type and Content Type are two different things. You keep using the term Content Type, when you should be using the term Thread Type as you are referring to a new Thread Type.

What you want is a new Thread Type "Classified Ad", which IMO would be a pretty nice addition to Core Thread Types.

Its not that hard to create a custom Thread Type. I've developed several custom Thread Types for clients over the past 3.5 years, to include a Classified Ad Thread Type that includes some of the basic features of my advanced Classified Ads System and an Event Thread Type, which includes some basic features of my advanced Event Management System.

You should have no problem finding a developer that can knock out a basic classifieds Thread Type for you :)
So ... a thread type means it will be listed amongst other threads. ...

whereas a content type probably resides elsewhere.
A Thread Type is a type of a THREAD (Discussion, Poll, Article, Question, Suggestion).

A Content Type is a type of a piece of CONTENT (Thread, Post, Conversation, ProfilePost, ProfilePostComment, Resource, Resource Category, Resource Rating, Resource Update, Resource Version etc etc etc)

All Thread Types are the Content Type thread.

XFRM has 5 Content Types: resource, resource_category, resource_rating, resource_update, resource_version

XFRM also has Resource Types (Uploaded file, External download, External purchase, Fileless). This is at a much lower level than Thread Types, however, its still the same concept in that there are different TYPE of Resources, but in the end, they are still the content type resource.

XFMG has 8 Content Types: xfmg_album, xfmg_category, xfmg_comment, xfmg_media, xfmg_media_note, xfmg_rating, xfmg_user_album_index, xfmg_user_media_index

XFMG also has Media Types.

CAS (my Classified addon) has 12 Content Types: cas_ad, cas_category, cas_comment, cas_feedback, cas_feedback_reply, cas_item, cas_offer, cas_offer_counter, cas_question, cas_question_reply, cas_transaction, cas_transaction_reply

CAS also has Ad Types, which is basically the same thing as Thread Types, which is a way to have different types of ads with their own internal features, but are still of the content type cas_ad). Ad Types: For Sale, For Rent, For Loan, For Trade, Free, Wanted, Service, Job and Announcement. For Sale ads have features specific to just that Ad Type (again, just like Thread Type Suggestion has specific features that that specific Thread Type).

Anyway, I hope that makes things clear as mud :) Keep in mind, I am not a TEACHER, so explaining development level stuff to a non developer is not my forte ;)
I posted a suggestion for a new thread type:

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