Battletech Live

Online, Turn-Based Battletech – Development Logs

Gaining ground on the Battletech Live Forums

I’ve been working on the Battletech Live forums every day this week, hoping to bring them back online by the end of this weekend or early next week.  I’m thinking about how an individual thread should be displayed.  In an email system, messages are traditionally sent back and forth and in the scheme of things, the end result is a somewhat disjointed conversation.  In a forum, each message is displayed above or below the others, depending on how it’s set up to display them.  To me, a top down design seems to make the most sense.

I’ve seen some forum systems that ist one post after the other, with little organization except to split it into multiple pages if the thread gets too long.  On other forums, I’ve seen systems used that allow for the viewing of only one message at a time, with a text-based tree view below it to illustrate the connections between messages.

threadUsing the illustration to the left, I think I’m going to combine list and tree views.  The first message in a thread will appear in a container which provides a heading and a body.  The heading will detail the author, title and timestamp.  When a reply is posted, it will appear directly below it, vertically aligned.  If everything continues in that manner, the next response applied to the last element in line, the thread will appear as a column.  However, looking at the fourth message to the left, if a user replies to some posting further up the thread, that response is indented below the element to which they are replying to.  Any response to that message would then appear aligned below it.

Each post within the thread can be expanded and collapsed but will default to expanded and I’ll probably again impose a limit on 20 posts per page to limit scrolling.

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July 9, 2009 - Posted by | Project Development

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