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
Question. I like presenting the thread types as tabs as that makes the options more obvious. But can they then be assigned prefixes?
Question thread gets a Question prefix. Suggestion thread gets a Suggestion prefix etc.?
With prefixes, people can easily see and filter specific thread types.

Or have you got a different method of filtering thread types?
 

JoyFreak

Well-known member
Question. I like presenting the thread types as tabs as that makes the options more obvious. But can they then be assigned prefixes?
Question thread gets a Question prefix. Suggestion thread gets a Suggestion prefix etc.?
With prefixes, people can easily see and filter specific thread types.
Yeah, I think you can. It says you can do the same to those content types as any traditional thread.
 

Stuart Wright

Well-known member
Yeah, I think you can. It says you can do the same to those content types as any traditional thread.
We would need to force a particular prefix to be automatically added to a thread of a certain type. That's not functionality which exists in 2.1, of course, because there aren't thread types in 2.1.
 

sbj

Well-known member
Yesssss, nice, really awesome. Reddit type of voting is very much needed thing and finally articles... question threads... we can configure each node like we want.

Omg, this is by far the best HYS.

Most importantly, these new content types are integrated to the thread system and they are not a separate thing like MG/RM. Like I cannot even explain how important this design is. Yes, yes. Putting content into one place is the key and this system allows us to do that without redirecting people to separate places. People stick to threads and dont like to use the other stuff around. Very smart choice, give credit where credit is due.

This is soooo huge, thank you!!!! I am very excited about these new things.

(Although on the other side this will cause problems with most addons probably as this system touches the threads. But there is no rose without a thorn.)
 

Kevin

Well-known member
Well, this was certainly unexpected! Nice work guys, I'm already contemplating a few choice threads & forums to change their content type to the new options. :D


Any, um.... any chance you guys had some widgets in mind to go along with the new content types?
 

Gator

Well-known member
Will there be a "most recent" highlights widget for the Article threads? It would be nice to display an abbreviated version of the Article with an image on the main mage.
 

beerForo

Well-known member
This! This is so important! Maybe we'll see a XFMG thread type and a XFRM thread type?
Would love to bring the Gallery into the forum for discovery purposes. Either that or an integrated content feed. Maybe some feed news soon, a better What's New. These just keep getting better and better so hopefully! I have to image with these new content types the What's New got an overhaul.
 
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