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Lack of Interest Problem with the Personal Conversation(s) and Conversation(s) Inconsistency Fix

Discussion in 'Closed Suggestions' started by Gladius, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. Gladius

    Gladius Well-Known Member

    Original thread: Fixed - Personal Conversation(s) and Conversation(s) Inconsistency

    My post-fix comment:

    There's just one problem with this that I've discovered since I had to redo our docs in the move from vB to XF... you can't abbreviate Conversations to anything. With Private Messages or Private Conversations, it's easy enough... but if you've only got Conversations, you're stuck having to spell the whole long word out every time, or come up with Conversation Messages just to abbreviate it to CM, but then you make up unofficial terms again so you might as well use PC.

    The added downside to having Conversations only is that you can't use it as a verb (whereas "PM me/him/her" or "PC me" works fine), so you have to spell out the entire "start a conversation with..." every... single... time... which gets tedious really, really, fast.

    So I'd argue in favour of changing this to whatever has two words purely for practical reasons. We all know how many hundreds if not thousands of times we've written "PM me" and the like over the years. You'll regret having to write "start a conversation with me" instead every time VERY quickly.

    Dropping the "Private" (or Personal) bit also very easily creates confusion with all the users not used to the XF terminology, as already mentioned above.
    Mr Lucky likes this.
  2. Amaury

    Amaury Well-Known Member

    Convo is an abbreviation.
  3. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    Inbox me
  4. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    Just to clarify, this is really unrelated to that fix. That fix referred to several specific and rarely seen places that still had the word "personal". That was actually dropped during development (so in 2010). 99% of references (including the most commonly seen ones) were "conversation" for a number of years.
    Amaury likes this.
  5. Gladius

    Gladius Well-Known Member

    Only it's not much of an abbreviation, plus it can mean other things besides. "Convo me" would be quite awkward as well.

    That's even worse. The function isn't "inboxing", so it's inaccurate as well.

    OK, but the point I'm trying to make still stands, there's no short, agreed upon and easily recognizable and understandable (even to XF admins, let alone general XF users and not even remotely to users not familiar with XF) abbreviation for conversations at the moment. As far as abbreviations go, PM and its equivalents are probably among the most (if not THE most) commonly used on any forum and everyone knows "PM" stands for. If we want to have that kind of recognition for a XF function a few years down the road, a 2-char "official" abbreviation is needed.
  6. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    SACW me?

    Is an abbreviated version really that important?

    If you want to be pedantic, the term private message has always been a misnomer as they have never been that.
    Anyone with database access or the well used add-on can view them.
  7. Gladius

    Gladius Well-Known Member

    SACW isn't an abbreviation for the feature, is it? Plus even I had to read it 3 times to figure out what it's supposed to be. The majority of users on most forums aren't familiar with the XF terminology to begin with, so abbreviations need to at least resemble what they already know if the feature's already named differently, which creates enough confusion on its own.

    As for its importance, it's the same as with anything else, really, isn't it? To some people who have to use it 50 times a day it'll be majorly important because they'll save a few minutes per month writing it. To weekend XF admins with 10k posts on their forums who use conversations once a month it won't be important at all. For me as an admin coming from 15+ years of using other forum software for my own forums where we always had a short and instantly recognizable abbreviation it's a downside and an inconvenience that XF doesn't have one. As it is, most people are still writing "PM" on pretty much all the XF forums I manage and run myself. That should be telling.

    This isn't about being pedantic but practical. From a user's POV, PMs in vB for instance were just that, clunky as they were. What XF uses instead is miles better, but it's effectively identical to what the original UBB had 15 years back, so I'm happy to get it back. I'd just like to see it named in a way that's practical, short and easily recognizable to abbreviate for everyone. Quite honestly, I'm not sure why anyone wouldn't want that, except for the typical "I don't consider this important to me, hence I'll argue against it" arguments that are popular with a few regulars here. Not meaning you, Brogan. ;)

    Edit: I don't care if they're named Private or Personal actually, it abbreviates all the same. I'm well aware that they can easily be looked up, but "private" to me always meant the distinction between discussions open to the general public vs. only select users. But I'm looking at this from an admin's perspective, of course.
    RDR likes this.
  8. RDR

    RDR Well-Known Member

    Interesting discussion and I'm with you @Gladius with regards to older communities that were used to the PM system/abbreviation. Always wondered why xF went away from this terminology - perhaps due to trying to show different from vB? Dunno.
    Gladius likes this.
  9. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    So essentially this is another "I wish it was the same as VB" thread.

    If it concerns you that much, simply use the same term. Everyone will know what you mean, just as they have done for years with XF.
  10. Gladius

    Gladius Well-Known Member

    No, it's not "another "I wish it was the same as VB" thread.", please don't dismiss it so easily. I didn't start this thread because I wouldn't know how to change the phrase but because I wanted to highlight a larger issue and I think that I presented enough argumentation for that. I believe that the fact that people are still referring to conversations as PM is largely because there is no suitable replacement abbreviation for it. E.g. PC if we had the Personal Conversations term used everywhere.

    Quite honestly, you could dismiss every suggestion in here with "if it concerns you that much, simply mod it" so I find such remarks really counter-productive to say the least.
    RDR likes this.
  11. RDR

    RDR Well-Known Member

    That's not the way I was looking at it. But thanks for 'listening' to the real problems that some of us are sharing. I feel blessed.

  12. Gladius

    Gladius Well-Known Member

    I have to respond to this again since you edited your post and changed the meaning of what both me and RDR originally responded to.

    I don't necessarily want to use the same term. I want XF to have a short abbreviation that ALL XF users can refer to across all the XF installations, not just something I changed manually on my own forums. If that's not clear enough from my posts (it should be, unless you're just scanning them), I'm spelling that out here.
    RDR likes this.
  13. Mr Lucky

    Mr Lucky Well-Known Member

    This is one of the few things about xenforo that does rankle a bit IMO.

    I would prefer if we could just call them PMs. I know, nobody is stopping me from calling them what I like...maybe RPM for Reasonably Private Message.

    PM is not tied in with vBulletin, it's not far from becoming a standard part of the English language. I understand entirely where Gladius is coming from - people on my forum use PM. At first I'd "correct" them by saying they should now say PC or Conversation. But it doesn't work because they are so used to the concept of a PM as a private or personal way of communication via a forum or social network.

    I also find something ominous about Personal Conversation, as if someone is going take me to one side and mention a body odour problem.
    Gladius likes this.
  14. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    First, I do just want to note that support team members/moderators run their own forums, so they are certainly entitled to their opinion as XenForo owners. They're the same as any other XenForo owner in that regard.

    This is actually something I was going to bring up. "PM" is something that I see people use in systems where there isn't necessarily an explicit name for the system. Grammatically speaking, it's not actually even a verb, though it gets used that way (and clearly there are plenty of cases of nouns becoming accepted as verbs over time). I do feel like PM has generally become a general term for any sort of person-to-person/direct messaging system on a website so there's nothing wrong with using PM regardless of the specific name of the system.

    Even if we were to change the system, I don't think you'd ever see it become "Personal/Private Messages" as its name. It'd just be something like "Messages" (or "Inbox", etc).
    Alfa1 and Amaury like this.
  15. RDR

    RDR Well-Known Member

    Except they also can change their opinion silently and edit quoted posts to make others' opinions go out of context. Makes me wonder how often this occurs.

    In any event, that's done now and I for one appreciate your thoughts on the suggestion/discussion.
  16. Mr Lucky

    Mr Lucky Well-Known Member

    Actually message is a bona fide verb and (according to Mirriam Webster dictionary) has been since 1583.
    Mike likes this.
  17. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    This is sort of off topic with the discussion so if you have any further qualms about this, then PM ( ;) ) me directly, but:
    1. Anyone can edit their post within the first few minutes silently. This is standard XF function and it applies to regular users. Both posts referencing his post were made well after the edit.
    2. IMO, being able to see it, the edit was a minor one and doesn't really change what he was saying.
    3. You quoted his post as it stands right now and your post wasn't edited by anyone.
    But to repeat, anything further on this probably shouldn't be in this thread.
    Amaury likes this.
  18. Gladius

    Gladius Well-Known Member

    And that's the crux of the problem... I may well use PM everywhere, but then my users tell me "I can't find anywhere where I can send a PM, nothing says private messages or even messages anywhere". And nobody knows what "conversations" are anyway because there's no inbuilt user help explaining any of XF's features, but that's another can of worms...
    Either of those would be better than conversations, by much, because everyone would associate them with PMs, at least. Conversations are too far out there for anyone's first (or even third) thought to be "aha -- that's PMs". For those users not familiar with XF's terminology, that is.
  19. Amaury

    Amaury Well-Known Member

    Not totally accurate, as there are the BB code and smilies help pages.

    However, explaining how any feature works is really more up to the staff, in my opinion, than the software's developers, as, within legal reasons, of course, the software can be used in any way. If you completely changed how discussions worked, such as the structure of how replies are made, and XenForo had a help page based on the default layout, that could cause confusion to users.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
  20. Gladius

    Gladius Well-Known Member

    Only even the smilies page doesn't really explain what they are, it's just a list. ;)

    I don't agree with your POV; in my opinion all the features as default should be explained in a proper help system and only if an admin changes them, they should change the help to reflect said changes as well. Most forums out there don't modify the core features much if at all, so this makes significantly more sense to me. It's funny how I had this argument with @Kier (I think) what, 10 years ago on vB? It got a very nice help system subsequently, but it took some convincing. ;)
    RDR likes this.

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