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Thread: Vbulletin for WebBBS Users

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    Random number herder Norm's Avatar
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    Vbulletin for WebBBS Users

    The older BJ forums use WebBBS software. The purpose of this post is to provide a quick start in the use of this forum for those used to the older software, not to discuss pros and cons.

    Linear vs. Threaded Views
    WB displays posts in threaded views. That is, threads and posts are displayed in a hierarchy, akin to the way Windows displays files and folders. (There are other formats, but no one seems to use them.) VB has three modes: threaded, linear and hybrid. Linear is the default as that format is overwhelmingly preferred by VB users.

    Threads are always listed in a linear fashion. That is, they are listed in order of the last activity in the thread. If someone posts to a five-year old thread, it will be promoted to the top of the list. Without this promotion, no one would ever notice the new post. The disadvantage comes when someone makes a regular habit of promoting dead threads with trivia. This can normally be handled with education, and old threads can also be closed to new posts.

    When you click on a thread, the contents of posts are also displayed in a linear fashion. An advantage of this mode is that you can quickly scan through many posts without clicking and waiting for web transfer. Some people prefer the hierarchic view as it keeps like-thoughts more organized. There is a threaded mode, and a hybrid mode that is a cross between the two. You can dynamically change the mode for a thread using the Display dropdown, or change your default view of all threads. (Hit Settings (upper right corner), then General Settings, then change the Thread Display Mode.)

    In threaded mode, a threaded view is provided with the currently displayed post below. Scroll and click on posts in the threaded view, and the new post will be displayed. There is a wonderful addition. When you click on a post, it is displayed instantly with no Internet access. So, you can click back and forth in a thread with zero wait time. This is due to use of a feature in newer web browsers. When you click on a thread, every post in the thread is loaded into browser memory and hidden. When you click on a post, the browser loads the new post from memory with no communications.

    Note: The forum display and main page contain "Go to First Unread Post" icons that will take you directly to the first post in a thread that you have not read.

    Signatures, Avatars, Smilies, Images
    Many WB users have complained of the “silliness” of various images present in VB. I have slowly come to understand their use. Avatars make it easier for me to see, at a glance, who has posted where, and to instantly recognize members in a very large community. Smilies, although if overused can be annoying, are very valuable in conveying meaning in a world where people do not see each other’s faces or hear each other’s voices. I think they help reduce misunderstandings that can lead to problems. In any case, in the Settings, General Settings screen, you can separately turn off sigs, avatars and images.

    Post Replies
    There are a few ways to reply to a post.
    • While reading a thread, you can scroll to the bottom and find a Quick Reply box. This is a simple editor. It has no preview capability and will simply place your response at the end of all others. Click on Go Advanced to enter the full WYSIWIG editor. All editors are auto-saved every 30 seconds in case you lose your connection.
    • Below every post, there are Reply and Reply with quote buttons. Click these to open a quick reply box below the post with or without the post quoted. Again, you can hit Go Advanced for a more advanced editor.
    • Multi-quote allows you to respond to many posts in the same response. To the right of the Reply with Quote buttons, you will see a small quote+ icon. Click it and it will show a check mark. Click on another below a different post, and another check will appear. Now click Reply with Quote on a third, and the edit box will have all three posts quoted. You can now respond to all three in one post, or click Go Advanced for a WYSIWIG response to all three (or more) posts.
    • A new quick method of quoting part of a post has been added. Simply highlight the desired portion of a post with the mouse, and a small quote button will appear. Click the button and the quoted text will appear in the Quick Reply box with formatting controls to display the source. This can also be used to quote multiple parts of a post or multiple posts.


    Font Sizes

    There has been a complaint by some about font sizes in VB. Of course modern browsers all allow users to change their font size. You can also scroll to the bottom of the screen and select the Large Fonts style in the style selector on the left..

    Delete Posts

    To delete a post, click Edit Post and then click Delete. No passwords are needed as VB knows which posts are yours.

    Edit Posts
    VB allows members to edit their own posts. This is an invaluable feature. Some think it can be dangerous because you can change the meaning of a post. But, if the change is not made very quickly, an edit history is kept that anyone can see.

    Anonymous posts
    WebBBS allows you to enter any name you wish in any posts, so you can post as 20 people. It also allows you to sign on to chat with any name, including pretending that you are another member. VB forces the use of your member name throughout VB. There are rare cases where you may wish to post anonymously. A function has been added for this purpose, described at Post Anonymizer.

    Which Posts have been read
    WB has no read posts logic of which I am aware. It uses links, and the browser changes the link colors. Numerous complaints have arisen over the years as browsers reset history or get confused. VB keeps track of read posts in its data base and allows you to mark specific or all forums read. A huge advantage is that you can use multiple PCs and mobile devices, and read posts are still remembered.

    Mobile Devices
    iPhones, iPads, Android devices, etc. can be used for chats and also for the forum via TapaTalk or Forum Runner.

    Icons
    You will find tiny icons everywhere. To see what they do, hover the mouse over the icon.

    Chat
    Chat is integerated. You will see the number of users in the chat room in the Chat button, you will see a list of the users at the bottom of the main page updated every ten minutes. To see who's in without the time lag, at the top, click Community - Who's in Chat Room. When you click on Chat Room, you will be automatically signed in using your membername. You cannot pretend to be another member. This prevents casino personnel from spoofing. Separate Instant Messaging and Private Messaging systems also exist.

    Other Stuff
    The VB feature set is rather large. If WB users run into additional problems/annoyances, please mention them and this post will be expanded.
    Last edited by Norm; 06-06-2013 at 06:26 AM.
    "It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows." -Epictetus

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