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Author Topic: March Fundraiser Pledge: teaser  (Read 5605 times)

timns

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March Fundraiser Pledge: teaser
« on: February 16, 2011, 05:10:58 PM »
Dunno what the standard is for a pledge, but I can always clean it up later.

And, by the way, I sure hope there's nothing like this out there already!

If there is, tell me now before I carry on  :'(

So here is my Pledge for the March 2011 fundraiser. An app that allows you to browse the DoCo forums outside of the usual browser interface. I expect, but have not checked, that it will also work for other SMF forums too.

This is a Java application with a little database that allows you to interact with the forums in a more natural manner. The program will automatically group messages by thread, and show you what's new in the forums by updating itself on a regular basis.

So reading and replying to messages now becomes more like using your email.

You can also filter messages in or out by various criteria, such as (but not limited to) by date, username, tag etc. allowing you to focus on the stuff that interests you. Or even ignore entire threads if they are no longer of interest.

I think the screenshots will tell a better story:

startup.pngMarch Fundraiser Pledge: teaser

tree.pngMarch Fundraiser Pledge: teaser

It's usable already, but there's a lot missing at this stage. I'll post more details as things come along. Now's also the time to hit me with questions and ideas.

JavaJones

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Re: March Fundraiser Pledge: teaser
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2011, 05:12:39 PM »
Interesting! Reminds me of some other "forum browser app" systems I've seen, except it already doesn't suck (judging by the screenshots). :D Looking forward to trying it out.

- Oshyan

timns

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Re: March Fundraiser Pledge: teaser
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2011, 05:14:10 PM »
Son-of-a-bitch! I actually did look around to see if there was anything out there, but didn't really find much.

cranioscopical

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Re: March Fundraiser Pledge: teaser
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2011, 05:18:43 PM »
Good title!

timns

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Re: March Fundraiser Pledge: teaser
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2011, 05:20:59 PM »
Thanks Chris - just the first thing I could think of.  :-[

JavaJones

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Re: March Fundraiser Pledge: teaser
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2011, 05:22:48 PM »
Er, well, first hit for "forum reader software" on Google: http://www.webforumr...der-description.html It even claims it's "universal" and works independent of the forum app. Hmm. But that's not the one I was thinking of. Then there's this: http://forumpilot.com/ and this http://www.1topix.com/

Mind you I haven't tried any of these and I don't think any are the one I had in mind, though that was from ages ago. And even though most of these now actually look similar to your app, I suspect yours might be better for me because it's being tested against DC first and foremost. :D

- Oshyan

timns

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Re: March Fundraiser Pledge: teaser
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2011, 05:27:38 PM »
It's enough to make you weep. Oh well, hopefully there'll be something in this heap to offer some unique appeal to DCers.

It's the most amount of recursive code I've ever written to handle the messages, and it's reasonably klever at collating threads and messages. I also have intentions to add the ability to handle PM's etc. if it all comes together.

JavaJones

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Re: March Fundraiser Pledge: teaser
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2011, 05:40:11 PM »
Sounds good (and useful and worthwhile) to me!

- Oshyan

timns

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Re: March Fundraiser Pledge: teaser
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2011, 05:44:55 PM »
Self-inflicted search failure. I looked back through my history, and I was looking originally at RSS readers... then I thought "hell, all I need to do is some nice scraping and parsing, and I'd have a DoCo reader"

Genius...  :-\

Reminds me of the time I was driving along, fiddling with my "trip computer" (remember them?) which was giving me an average speed reading. I recall thinking to myself "wow, imagine if this feature could give a constantly updated indication of current speed as well?"

Then the penny dropped and I realised I'd just re-invented the speedometer.  :'(

cranioscopical

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Re: March Fundraiser Pledge: teaser
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2011, 06:21:35 PM »
Then the penny dropped and I realised I'd just re-invented the speedometer.

I bet that gave you the needle!

mouser

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Re: March Fundraiser Pledge: teaser
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2011, 06:40:06 PM »
Looks very cool  :up:

timns

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Re: March Fundraiser Pledge: teaser
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2011, 06:45:00 PM »
Thanks! It's bound to have something unique to offer...

... like new unheard-of-before bugs  :P

timns

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Re: March Fundraiser Pledge: teaser
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2011, 01:28:59 PM »
I just decided to pick this up again next month. I trialled the other forum readers out there and they're not too good. The nicer one (forum pilot) appears to be abandoned and is pretty bad at picking up new posts.

1Topic crashes with "failed to register resource" and again the site has not been touched since '08.

Web Forum reader is a disaster to set up. It cannot seem to get the hang of the DC layout at all.

So: all-in-all, I think it IS time for a nice DoCo reader. I have the boring invisible stuff in place (download, threading, database) so it's now the fun things to be done: how to best present the messages, filtering, searching, sorting.