I updated the forum software a couple nights ago. This upgrade was major and it affected over 40 of OrchidTalk's custom features. I installed the update on my test forum (which is an exact copy of this site using a copy of the database, renamed) to test out all the changes and find any bugs. I found several and was able to recode and fix them before upgrading our live OrchidTalk site here.

This morning I got a message from one member that said that he saw a huge gap between the header (people at the top of every page and the links just under them) and the actual posts. I *believe* the cause of this was a javascript conflict. I wanted to include a survey from 4Q (survey system) to help me better understand how people used the site and why they return to OrchidTalk; their overall satasfication with the site. The survey used a javascript code to survey 20% of the visitors. I believe this conflicted with some code in the forum - in any case, I removed the survey. I will have to find another way to do that at a later time.

If you notice any other problems/ bugs while using the boards, please let me know. Thanks!

Here are a few of the new updates that everyone can use right away:

The private message system has been overhauled to be easier to use.

  • Now members can sort their PMs by sender, title, and even date. Members, especially subscribing members, will find this feature handy when one finds that s/he has over 100+ messages in the PM system.
  • There is now a quick reply box for the PM system. Instead of having to reload a page to reply to a message, you can simply click in the box below a new message and you will find that the message has already been quoted to make it easier for you to keep up with your conversations.

There is a new drop-down link on the top of the page called "Community" This link replaces the "member's List" link that was there and takes advantage of the recently added 'friends' feature. Now it is easy to manage your friends/contact list and also the members list as both are in one drop-down.

An additional feature that is long overdue finally made it into the forum software is the ability to dismiss notices that you have read. I still have some coding to do to get it to work, but soon, you will be able to dismiss some of the notices that appear at the top of the screen while you are visiting the forum. For example, if today is your birthday, I programed the forum to post a happy birthday notice to you, but after you read the notice, it currently still appears. Now, (soon) you will have the option to dismiss that notice and it will help your pages to load faster, you get to enjoy the notice, and you can get to why you came to visit - the forum threads, posts, and community. I am really excited about this update. I will enable this feature on alerts that should be able to be dismissed and keep it off on notices that need your attention.

Beyond those new features that everyone can see, this update helps us better use server resources and hopefully because of its caching feature, your pages will load faster. There are also some updates on thread management that will make getting rid of spam so much easier for me. As it is, you never (rarely) see any spam, but since I see all posts that are put up on the site, some days I delete 10+ messages that link to porn or sell electronics, etc... (you get the idea). Now, with the new update, it is easier for me to click just a couple buttons and remove the spam, block the ip address of the spammer, and get back to doing what I love to do - read and reply to posts on growing orchids.

Okay, long winded, sorry. If you find any bugs, please let me know. (And if you use the mobile OrchidTalk website, please let me know of conflicts there as well. It had over 50 template updates and it is much harder for me to test every page and feature. Thanks!)