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Testing possible changes to this site

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:17 pm
by Nat Fairbanks
I am testing some possible changes to this site on http://www.natfairbanks.com/phpBB2/
Please feel free to help out by visiting, creating an account and posting in order to see how it works. Voice your opinion of the change on that site as well.

While the change would create more work for me in the short term, I believe it will make it easier to maintain in the long term by serving as a visible reminder to people that this is a public forum and what they say here is both recorded and can have significant influence on how people think of them.

I also hope that it allows other people to strike up the courage to speak their opinion on this site. I doubt it will increase participation greatly, but I do hope so.

Given enough participation and feedback I will post a follow up in a week. Three possible outcomes are moving to the new system, scrapping the idea entirely, or giving it more time to develop.

-Nat

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 10:16 am
by RD
Hi Nat. I'm trying to understand the difference with the new forum. When trying to post a reply in the unlimited access section, it still prompts for a username and password. Is this how it's supposed to be? I have seen other forums where people can post as a guest without having to have an account. I thought that's what you had in mind here, but perhaps I'm wrong.

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 10:40 am
by Nat Fairbanks
In order to post you do need to create an account, just like here. But unlike here only users who fully identify themselves would be allowed to post in the limited access area (aka Town Issues). They identify themselves in the Request Access area.

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2005 10:16 pm
by Nat Fairbanks
Any feedback on the user identification scheme attempted on the test site?

-Nat

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 8:08 am
by RD
I've encountered some funny behavior of the site. Sometimes it appears that I can be logged in and a guest at the same time. That is, it shows me as being logged in, but there is still a "log in" link instead of the "log out" link.

Also, I was only able to see the "request access" section after I created an account. However, once I identified myself and was given access, I don't seem to be able to access that section anymore. Is that how it was designed?

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 9:01 am
by Nat Fairbanks
That's not how it was designed, can you double check that you are logged in? I just created a test account and everything worked fine. Sometimes the box may be slow, since it's running on my home DSL line on a Linkstation (200Mhz PPC network attached storage device with 64MB RAM). Not exactly a massive system, plus it gets a lot of other use.

-Nat

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 9:21 am
by Ann Goldman
Hi Nat,
I came up with the same problem.
I first went to the limited access section and then to the 2nd post. It would let me reply until I logged in. I then went to the "create a username post" and registered.
Then I went to the 2nd post again and when I tried to reply it asked me to log in. I logged in and my header says I am logged in.
When I go to the second post and try to reply I get this message each time:
Sorry, but only users granted special access can reply to posts in this forum.

Now I see that you have added another section.

Annie

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 9:26 am
by Ann Goldman
I am assuming that the "request access" section doesn't show up until you have registered. I know it wasn't there before I registered.

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 9:28 am
by RD
Interesting. I logged in and it showed me as being logged in, i.e...
In total there are 3 users online :: 1 Registered, 1 Hidden and 1 Guest [ Administrator ] [ Moderator ]
Most users ever online was 3 on Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:14 am
Registered Users: rd

... but I still couldn't access the "request access" section and the "log in" link was still there. So I clicked it and logged in again. Then I was able to see the "request access" and the "log out" link was there. Then when I logged out, it still showed me as logged in but I refreshed a minute later and it was correct. Perhaps it was just a speed issue.

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 9:38 am
by Nat Fairbanks
Ann Goldman wrote:I am assuming that the "request access" section doesn't show up until you have registered. I know it wasn't there before I registered.

Yes, it only shows up once you create a user account and log in. This is to keep web spiders (google, altavista, etc) from seeing the information in that section and making your address information available to search engines through the site.

-Nat

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 9:42 am
by Nat Fairbanks
RD wrote:... but I still couldn't access the "request access" section and the "log in" link was still there. So I clicked it and logged in again. Then I was able to see the "request access" and the "log out" link was there. Then when I logged out, it still showed me as logged in but I refreshed a minute later and it was correct. Perhaps it was just a speed issue.

I would assume it is a speed issue, the MySQL database server is almost too much for the little box it's running on, and slow updates to the database would result in issues like part of the page showing you as logged in and part not. This won't be an issue if I move this idea to the real web site. For a low load testing site it should be fine.

-Nat

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 10:03 am
by RD
Would it make sense (or is it even possible) to only allow users who have identified themselve view the "request access" section? I believe as it is right now, you only need to create an account in order to see the information of those who have requested access to the limited access area.

Also, how do you verify the identifying information?

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 10:33 am
by Nat Fairbanks
It might be possible to allow post only access, with no read access to regular accounts, and read access only to identified posters. Not sure how much sense that would make. The software does appear to allow you to set it up that way however.

I have no plan to strictly verify the information, but I would weed out any obvious fakes.

-Nat

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 11:42 am
by Nat Fairbanks
The software won't allow users to post if they can't read the messages already there, so I can't do that. (I just tried)

-Nat

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 11:43 am
by Wayne
Nat Fairbanks wrote:
Ann Goldman wrote:I am assuming that the "request access" section doesn't show up until you have registered. I know it wasn't there before I registered.

Yes, it only shows up once you create a user account and log in. This is to keep web spiders (google, altavista, etc) from seeing the information in that section and making your address information available to search engines through the site.

-Nat

Nat, I created a user account a couple of weeks ago. Today it let me login and shows me as an active registered user. However, when I enter the Limited Access area, text at the bottom says I cannot reply or post (but I can vote in polls 8) ), and if I try to post or reply I get the message "Sorry, but only users granted special access can reply to/post topics in this forum." I get this same error - not allowed to read - when I click on the Request Access link. It's been about a half hour since I logged in. What am I doing wrong?