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Threaded vs non-threaded: how to use the forum options

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  • Threaded vs non-threaded: how to use the forum options

    I've been asked about this many times in the past and at least three people have sent me messages about it in the last week. I guess this is as good a time as any to explain some of it to the new people.

    VBulletin is far more powerful than most other similar forums and bulletin board systems out there. It looks similar, but it can do a lot more. Allow me to give you the guided tour and you may discover some things you never noticed before.

    1. Basic viewing options. Some people like forums where all the messages appear stacked one under another (like the default setting on this forum). Others prefer to view messages in threaded view, sort of like a news group. This forum does both, plus it has a third option which combines features from both.

    Look just above this thread and to the right. You should see a link that says "Display Modes." Click on that and you should see a list of three different modes: linear, hybrid and threaded. Switch from one to the other to find the mode you like the best. You can also set this option as your default from within your User CP. So it doesn't matter if you like threaded or non-threaded, we have both!

    2. Different styles. Everyone has different color preferences when it comes to reading things on a PC. Our forum has several different "style sets" to choose from. You can select these one of two ways. The quickest way is to use the quick style chooser. Look all the way at the extreme bottom left of the forum. See the little dropdown menu? Choose a style you like and it will instantly appear. You can also make this your default viewing style from within your User CP.

    3. Flag. Want to display your national colors? Easy, just go into your User CP and edit your profile. There is a dropdown list there to select your flag.

    4. Email and PM. You can send email and PM (private messages) to any other user on the forum with ease. Simply click on their user name and select what you want to do from the list. You are limited on how many PM's you can store so be sure to empty your inbox once in a while. You can also use the PM area to track whether the person has read the message you sent them. Explore the PM and see what it can do.

    5. Collapsible categories. When you very first enter the forums you will see all the different forums broken down under several categories. You can collapse these if you don't want to see them. You should see a small box with what appears to be a "-" inside of it. Click on that and the category will collapse.

    6. Avatars. Avatars are easy to set up from within your User CP. We have a huge collection of ready-to-use avatars broken down by nation in there. If you can't find one to your liking, upload your own.

    7. WYSIWYG. Our forum has WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) capability built into it when you are typing in messages. It is not turned on by default, so if you want it you will need to activate it from within your User CP. Instead of using complicated code or VB-code to format your posts, turn on WYSIWYG and it will do it for you. Just highlight the text and click the option you want. You post will display just as it will look when you click the submit button. This makes posting detailed messages 200% easier!

    8. Subscription. Want to see when someone replies to a particular thread? Mark the subscribe option for that thread and you will receive a notice as soon as someone replies.

    9. W.A.R.S. For those that don't already know, WARS (Wargame Automated Records System) is similar to OARS or ROAR and it's built right into this forum. To use it, simply click on the WARS link above and view the information you want. It's very powerful and it takes some time to learn how to use it, but it's a very useful tool for ASLers.

    There are a bunch of other things this forum can do that are too numerous to list here. Play around with it and see how the different options work. If you have questions, post them here and we'll help you out.

  • #2
    Don't get me wrong, I think this is one of the best forum packages I have used. However, I think the people complaining about a threaded forum over at ConsimWorld seem to want no threads at all. They want one big room with everyone posting one after the other. There is little difference between the ConsimWorld forum and just having every item e-mailed to you -- just like the ASLML.

    It doesn't suit my tastes. I don't see how any thoughtful discussion can occur in such an environment or how one can find previously posted information quickly. The average post length seems to be a couple of sentences.

    Now maybe there is a way to configure the view to match ConsimWorld, but the linear, hybrid, and threaded views seem to only apply to the current topic and not to all topics under the general forum (i.e. I donít just get a big threaded view of all topics).
    Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind.

    -Thomas Jefferson


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