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Can GL be viewed forum-style?


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richschmidt

Forum User
Junior
Registered: 12/11/02
Posts: 32
Location:Valparaiso, Indiana
The more I look at GL, the more it seems redundant to me to have both GL and a forum on the same site. Is there any way to take the info from one's main GL site and display it "forum-style"? Already, when viewing the comments on an article, if you view them "flat" it looks almost like a regular forum. Is it possible to display the main page as a forum-style list, with the topics as section headings and the story titles as posts? It seems like it should be simple, but as a non-programmer, I have no idea how it would be done. Has anybody done this already? Could it be done?
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Anonymous

Anonymous
The reason it may seem redundant to you is because of the way some are using their sites. For example, Squatty.com focuses mainly on GL and its plugins. People use the stories/comments and forums for basically the same purpose. Let's say Squatty instead reserved his stories for announcing new releases only and moved all support/bug discussions over to the forums. By doing this, it minimizes discussion redundancy. Another example, someone wants to set up a general sports site. He releases stories covering major events as they happen and allows visitor comments only on certain stories. General and more in-depth discussions on different sports teams and their players which may or may not include the current event is done over in the forums. This also allows those who aren't interested in the current event (say the Superbowl) to discuss their hockey team or whatever. If the webmaster has a hobby like doing GL blocks, he doesn't want this to appear on his main sports page. So, he sets up a forum topic specially for this. It's all in the way you set your site up. The stories and forum can indeed be redundant but they need not be. Yes, almost anything can be done in programming. The code can be rewritten so the stories appear in forum style. Instead of rewriting the GL stories code, why don't you just take the already written forum and make that your main page instead?
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richschmidt

Forum User
Junior
Registered: 12/11/02
Posts: 32
Location:Valparaiso, Indiana
You're right, I can see how a site could be set up so that it isn't redundant content-wise. But it still seems redundant to me structure-wise. Why have 2 similar-but-separate systems for posting ideas and exchanging comments on them? The reason I asked the original question was because I'd like to offer some flexibility to my users. Plus, I'd like to "try it both ways" and see which way they prefer, without losing the existing discussions once a change is made. (E.g., if they try it forum-style for a while & don't like it, I wouldn't want to lose the forum posts when it's eliminated.) My planned site will have topics viewable only by members of certain groups (different volunteer teams), so I'm planning to use GL's topic structure to facilitate most discussion. If one group preferred the forum style while another preferred the story style, I'd like to give them that option without making them use 2 separate interfaces, etc. I'm a big fan of simplicity. Smile Oh, and I don't want the forum to be my main page because, by comparison, it's ugly. Smile Plus, I need the main page to communicate information, not just list discussion topics. Besides, if all I wanted was a forum, I wouldn't bother using Geeklog. Smile
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Anonymous

Anonymous
You bring up a very good point. It would be nice if the info were more tightly tied together between the two. So, you could display the info in different formats and not just in a forum or stories one. If you eliminated one structure the data doesn't disappear with it. I think the main reason the structure seems reduntant is because we're tying different products together as opposed to really sitting down and planning out an overall architecture. In other words, people are stuck thinking inside a box. It's easier and faster to take what's already in the development pipeline and slap it together. This is okay to get people's sites up and running, but it would be nice if there was some out of the box planning like is being done for GL2. This kind of stuff is definitely not easy. If it were, it would be here today.
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nurseryboy

Forum User
Chatty
Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 43
Hey guys,

What I just did on my site (Country Web) was create a link beside "Post a comment" called "Start a forum topic". This allows the user to choose between posting a comment using Geeklogs comments, or use the forum. One could actually get rid of the comment link, and just use the forum link if they choose to do so.
It is not a big fix to the redundancy, but it should help.

Matthew
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Status: offline

richschmidt

Forum User
Junior
Registered: 12/11/02
Posts: 32
Location:Valparaiso, Indiana
Yeah, Matt, I like what you've done with that. You've done a good job integrating the GL Forum with the rest of the site. Congrats! Smile Once I've finally found the time to get my site(s) up and running, I'll find out what works best in this context. Thanks for the ideas! - Rich
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