April 2, 2012 - By Dr. Cossack
After the madness of yesterday, as X himself would say, time to get serious.
Before I begin, a full report on this year's April Fools' Day event will be posted in another topic soon.
The most important of all: the Stream is back and now a permanent feature of the board
. Quite a few of you apparently liked the idea last year, and after spending some serious time refining the concept, I'm happy to announce that it's here to stay! I'd like to thank all the willing beta testers from last year for their participation in helping me locate bugs.
Now, you might want to ask what the real purpose of the Stream is. You can post on it, share items with friends, use it as a journal, track your board status, and more. For the full details, please see this topic
when you can learn several tips & tricks on how to make the best of it.
One consequence from this new addition is the removal of the "Thought" option in member profiles. This short line of text, meant to be displayed next to all your posts, has been replaced by the Stream itself: your latest Stream thought, posted by yourself, will be shown next to your posts.
Next on the plate, the forums. Bad Box Art Mega Man, Katawa Shoujo and the ponies are obviously going away. However, the Anime & Manga
area is here to stay. Many of you have posted about your favorite series in the past, and I'm sure that others would like to chat about the current releases, the past classics, and maybe get a few recommendations. Make the best use of it! Likewise, the Valve & Steam
forum is still here. Steam as a platform is a huge thing, and many of us use it often (fun fact - did you know we have a Steam community?). Valve's games are included in this as they tend to have a deep integration with the platform. I'm not 100% convinced yet that you'll adopt this new forum, but I'll give it a chance and let you people run with it. Be sure to speak your mind if you want it to stay!
What you're now using, as it was already the case yesterday, is IOBoard v1.4. This new version brings several new features and upgrades, which are detailed below.
New features and improvements:
- Redesigned member profile display
- Board items!
- Option to disable modules
- Stream: like/dislike
- Stream: edit/delete thoughts
- Stream: view our own information more easily
- Thoughts moved as part of the Stream
- Improved display of the list of forum moderators
- After a login, return the user to the page he was viewing
- Display the pages counter at the bottom of a list of topics
- Parse posts properly when more than one YouTube movie is included
- Forums: when posting in a subforum, it's parent's last post information will be updated as well
Most obvious when browsing around is the redesigned member profile page. For an example, you can check on my own profile
. The left column is dedicated to each person's information and contact networks, while the right column is all about the member's interation with the board. This makes each module much more visible, such as the list of Mega Man games owned & played and the Minecraft player info (if available). On all browsers excluding Internet Explorer, you also get a look at each person's in-game skin!
A new option, included in your user profile
, allows you to disable the board modules that you're not interested in. If you're someone that has no interest in the Mega Man series, for example, you can check the "Mega Man" option and most of the pages and sections related to the series will vanish. Forums aren't affected by this: you always have access to all available forums, so you don't miss out of the posting going on. You can go back to that page later to uncheck any module that you suddendly want to pay attention in.
This update was done with a very precise deadline in mind (April 1st!), so this hasn't gone through my usual battery of tests. I did get to iron out several bugs and flaws on the Stream since last year as well as yesterday, but I'm sure that some tuning will be required here and there. Be sure to post here or in the IOBoard forum
in case you have a problem, a suggestion, or simply a comment.
I've got some new key features on the drawing board for the next several weeks. This includes:
- More posting options on the Stream
- Improved notifications
- A way to personalize your posts and signatures much more easily
- A tool for you to post your pictures directly on the board, without having to upload them on another service first
- A surprise for our Minecraft players...
The move to v1.4 adds a whole new group of functionalities to the board. Some are well integrated, others have been showcased but serve little purpose at this point, while a few are still in the waiting room. This is your board to use: what features would YOU like to have? Is there some critical tool that you'd love to use? Something special that the Stream is missing? Would you like to be able to "Like" and "Dislike" specific posts and topics on the message board itself? Do you want fries with that? Speak up!