XF 2.2 Search forums, SEO improvements and dev team news

Screenshot 2020-08-03 at 10.47.31.pngA new way to surface content

Forums are usually devoted to a single subject matter and the threads they contain relate to that subject matter, unless it's all gone wrong and your users are wandering off topic. Threads belong to their parent forums, so if your board separates posts about kittens from posts about puppies into separate forums, you are never going to see a kitten thread and a puppy thread sitting next to each other within your forum hierarchy. This is how it has always been, it's the basic nature of the discussion forum paradigm.

But what if you want to have a forum that contains all threads from across your entire board that were posted in the week before last, or all threads started by moderators, or all threads that have no replies or... we could go on here.

Of course, we already have a mechanism to find those threads that meet those criteria in the form of the search system, but wouldn't it be great to be able to simply click on a named forum and get those matching threads returned as though they actually belonged to that forum? Well, with XenForo 2.2, you can.

Introducing Search Forums

forum-search-list.png


Search forums are a brand new type of node, which aggregate threads from your entire installation based on criteria of your choosing. This allows your members to browse a more diverse selection of threads as though they were all posted in the same forum.

forum-search-view.png
The simplest use of search forums might be to display threads from a handful of different forums, but the same comprehensive criteria system available in the 'Batch update threads' tool is at your fingertips.

forum-search-add.pngAdd-on developers, as ever, are able to extend this system to provide new options.

To ensure this feature performs as well as possible, results are cached for each user. You can set how long the cache lasts to make the appropriate trade-off between accuracy and performance.




tl;dr

 
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beerForo

Well-known member
But what if you want to have a forum that contains all threads from across your entire board that were posted in the week before last, or all threads started by moderators, or all threads that have no replies or... we could go on here.
Can this be user groups? Use case: Say I have a group called Gurus which is all the expert advice on the forum. In this node they see all the advice threads from Gurus.

I can see we can enter usernames but that would not solve this for large groups and when people are added to or removed from groups. Thanks
 

beerForo

Well-known member
I understand that's because you are using the Batch Update code for this but that doesn't necessarily mean it can't be added later even if you don't add it to batch update, correct? Thanks
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
It is something that we would have to add to the "Thread searcher" system so if we added it then it would be criteria that is available to both systems - Search forums and batch update threads.

Feel free to create a Suggestion if it's something you'd like us to consider.
 

cdub

Well-known member
FWIW, you can actually filter on tags. It wasn't shown there as it was actually tweaked very recently, but the thread searcher (which is used for batch thread updates too) does now allow that.
What about custom fields?
 

beerForo

Well-known member
Prefixes have to be assigned to threads explicitly and it depends on them being created and being made usable to forums. How does a "global" prefix work? How is that assigned to a thread? What about the criteria aspect?
Well in the acp I can create a prefix, and I can "select" that same prefix for more than one forum. Great. But when I am browsing a forum and see it in a thread and click, only that forum's results come up. Global would mean the "search results" show all instances, no matter your location. Many people use prefixes for categorization. So if you have the same prefix in more than one forum, you can see the "category" results with a click.

And for those that would not want this behavior all you have to do is create a duplicate prefix. So "Music" for example, you list twice (once per forum), not once and select it in both.
 

drastic

Well-known member
SKREEEE I CAN'T BELIEVE THOSE ARE THE ONLY SEO IMPROVEMENTS, ACCORDING TO THIS ARBITRARY NUMBER MY SITE IS GONNA BE STUFFED ON PAGE 40 ON GOOGLE AND YOU NEED TO FIX IT NOW! $otherForumSoftware IS SO MUCH BETTER IN THIS DEPARTMENT AND IF YOU DON'T FIX IT RIGHT NOW I'M GOING TO HAVE TO SWITCH!

IN SHORT, I WANT TO SPEAK TO THE MANAGER!

Sorry, I couldn't resist :p

Karen finally arrived to XF... :ROFLMAO::love:
 

RallyFan

Well-known member
O M G!! The SEO/Forum Indexer is an absolute banger.

Currently I've flicked off caching stuff to Google (because its actually a pet hate of mine to sometimes find something you've posted all over Google), whilst half asleep at 3AM! Not to mention it can be dangerous if a user posts something questionable, and you only catch it hours or days later. Then you have to remove it, and hitup Google with a Removal Request, eugh... no thanks!

Are Forum Index Controls going to be per node or per category based?

and of course, a massive congratulations and thanks to @Jeremy P for his promotion to The X Team, and his input into these developments.
 

robdog

Well-known member
This is definitely interesting. The search node is a great move, and I hope a future enhancement includes the ability to aggregate multiple content types into a search node. I am building something like this custom right now for a lot of non-forum content types but it would be cool to have this within the core functionality.
 

beerForo

Well-known member
The search node is a great move, and I hope a future enhancement includes the ability to aggregate multiple content types into a search node.
YES!!!!!! Everything is so forum-centric with XF's discovery, we really need an integrated/configurable feed or similar. I was hoping this was it but alas, for the forum.

Edit: NO, Latest Activity does not cut it.
 
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Kirby

Well-known member
Edit: NO, Latest Activity does not cut it.
Hmm, could you elaborate a bit more why Lastest Activity would not work?
Except for visual appearance (and maybe leaving out Reactions) this, at least te me, seems to be a stream of "new content"
 

beerForo

Well-known member
Hmm, could you elaborate a bit more why Lastest Activity would not work?
Except for visual appearance (and maybe leaving out Reactions) this, at least te me, seems to be a stream of "new content"
  • Number one would be it does not honor read/unread marking. Nothing is ever bold so it always looks read and is not intuitive to the seasoned forum user.
  • Number two would be, for lack of a better description, it is ugly. I do not like the "action formatting" before the content. It is hard on the eyes. In other words instead of telling us __________ posted a thread, list the thread title and format it like What's New, etc.
  • Basically, take What's New but integrate all the titles from all the apps instead of having widgets. A feed. Titles first that are bumped with replies or comments and honor read marking.
  • Configuration of what is seen.
Thank you for asking @Kirby.
 

FloV

Well-known member
  • Number one would be it does not honor read/unread marking. Nothing is ever bold so it always looks read and is not intuitive to the seasoned forum user.
  • Number two would be, for lack of a better description, it is ugly. I do not like the "action formatting" before the content. It is hard on the eyes. In other words instead of telling us __________ posted a thread, list the thread title and format it like What's New, etc.
  • Basically, take What's New but integrate all the titles from all the apps instead of having widgets. A feed. Titles first that are bumped with replies or comments and honor read marking.
  • Configuration of what is seen.
Thank you for asking @Kirby.

Yes, this!!!! And call it "Heartbeat" :) I hope to see something like this in the next couple of weeks (and i guess there is something like this in the pipe)
 
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