1.2. Forum Users Manual

Posting Messages

The post form is based off of (and uses some of the code from) the PhpBB post form, and it works in roughly the same way. To post to a conference, you must belong to one of the forum groups assigned to that conference (see below) or the conference must be set to allow anonymous post access.

The post form looks like this:

The header at the top of the form (where it says "start new thread" or "reply to this thread") will explain what this form does. In this case, submitting this form will begin a new thread because we're viewing a conference. If we were viewing a thread, the header would change, informing us that the form is now a reply form. In any case, submitting this form will add a new post to the forum.

If you are logged in to the site, the name and email fields will be automatically filled in. If you are replying, the subject field will also be filled in, although you may choose to change it. If you are not logged in, and the administrator has allowed anonymous access to this form, you will need to enter your name and email address. It is possible for the forum administrator to make the email field optional, in which case you won't have to enter one. If it is required, however, and you fail to enter an address, you will be prompted for one before posting the message.

While composing your message, you may apply formatting to the text using the buttons above. If you are using Mozilla or Internet Explorer, you can simply select a segment of text and click on one of the buttons to apply formatting to it. You can also click on a formatting button to open a tag where the cursor is located, and then click on it again to close the tag after you've finished typing. Alternately, the “close tags” button will close all open tags. To receive an example of how the tags should be used, simply position the cursor over the button and consult the text in the help field below the buttons. There are also keyboard shortcuts, which can be used to quickly open and close tags. The formatting buttons seen in the above capture of the post form are as follows: bold, italics, underline, colored text, quoted text, insert image, insert URL, and close all tags.

Users can also include an image that is hosted online somewhere by using the img tag. To use this tag, wrap the url of the image in [img] and [/img]. The forum will take care of the rest! The same formatting can be used to add a link to a post. For example, to link to typo3.org one could include either “[url]http:/typo3.org[/url]” or [url=http://typo3.org]The best CMS ever![/url]. The later format allows you to include a title for the link.

The quote tag is used to offset a section of text, and it gets automatically applied when you click on the quote button at the bottom of a post. To add an author to a quote tag, follow the same formatting that we saw with the URL tag: “[quote=author]quoted text here[/quote]”.

While the javascript used for this form seems to work well with most browsers, I've noticed that much of the functionality doesn't work with Safari. Safari seems unable to insert tags at the cursor position, for example. Any fixes for this would be much appreciated!

The javascript for these buttons is taken from the code for the phpBB post form more or less verbatim.

Once you've finished writing your message, press the “post message” button to submit it to the forum. If you'd like to see what your message will look like, you may preview it by pressing “preview message”. Doing this will bring up a preview of the post, which you can then edit and post or, if necessary, preview again.

User Configuration

Click on the edit profile link on the front page of the forum to configure your user account. The link is in the toolbar at the top of every page, although it will only show up if there is a logged in frontend user.

The image below shows the profile screen. The top part of the page (Contact Information and Forum Information) is what other users can see when they look at your profile. Beneath those two sections are a series of fields that allow you to edit your profile.

The options that can be set here include:

  • Forum Mailer Preferences: If the admin has set up the forum mailer, then this section will probably be enabled (otherwise, it may not show up). Users can choose which conferences they want to follow via email. All the conferences to which a user has access will appear on this page. If the user checks a conference, all future posts in that conference will be sent to the user as an email. The message will contain the actual text of the post as well as a link back to the parent thread.
  • User Image Upload: Users can upload an image of themselves here. The file will be stored in /uploads/pics (which is where the newlogin box extension stores images). The uploaded file must be either a gif or a jpeg file, and its size can never exceed 100k (the administrator can set the max size to less than 100k, if desired).
  • IM Screen Names: Users can add / edit their instant messaging screen names here, making this information visible to other users who view their profile.
  • Email: Users can update the email address for their frontend account.
  • Web site: If the user has a website, it can be listed here.

After editing their account preferences, users should press submit to finalize the changes.

In some cases, forum administrators may choose to disable the user preferences functionality, in which case these options will not be accessible. If cwt_community integration is enabled, this page will look a bit different because it will include the account options bundled with cwt_community, in addition to teh forum mailer preferences and IM screen name options (assuming they have not been disabled).