This topic contains 6 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by cimarrón 3 days, 2 hours ago.
February 12, 2020 at 13:04 #50197
Please would you move the Discussion Forum threads, “Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019” and “Elections aftermath”, the first part of that thread.
These should surely now be in the ‘Still Discussing’ section rather than the ‘Discussion Forum’ where they will be pushed down the page as new Forum titles are added.
Of course, you would need the thread starter’s permission, Kim Sanders-Fisher, to do this.
February 15, 2020 at 07:23 #50233
I have tried this approach before but the mods ignored my pleas and deleted some.
February 15, 2020 at 10:20 #50235
Yes, SA, I saw your earlier comment requesting this move, and I noted that the Mods had ignored it. They did, though, suggest to Kim that she start a new thread, which she has done. Unfortunately, this means that the starting comments, and therefore the first part of the discussion, is now sinking down the page with the weight of new threads above it.
The Mods did once say that they would respond to a polite request (to facilitate the display of an image in a comment), I did say ‘please’ in my request. Perhaps then, Mods, you would consider this request again, and note the value of it.
We are ‘Still Discussing’ “Not forgetting the al-Hillis-continued”, “Disappearing Aircraft”, and “Blair Miles”; surely the Elections Aftermath will continue to be discussed for a long, long time, given the calibre of the people we now have in government and the tricks they will undoubtedly continue to pull.
May I suggest, if this is a technical problem, that it might be something that Darth, or Squonk, or Clarke could facilitate.
February 16, 2020 at 16:19 #50249
Your request entails a functional change to the sidebar menus, which moderators don’t have the power to implement. Those permissions are available only to the system administrator, ‘Darth’. It’s a technical issue which involves more upheaval than you might suppose.
There is a confusion between different kinds of entity. Craig’s blog is primarily a publishing platform for his own articles, and the discussion forums are provided as a courtesy for readers who wish to raise their own topics. The ‘Still Discussing‘ sidebar widget shows a list of articles, written by Craig, which are still accepting comments. It doesn’t list topics created by blog readers in the discussion forums, and there is no facility to make it do so.
The discussion forums aren’t a core feature of WordPress: they’re generated by additional software (bbPress) which is installed as a plugin and which uses its own data tables with a different structure to the WordPress tables that contain the articles and comments. Accordingly, including discussion topics in the same list as article titles would require some creative PHP programming.
It would make more sense to ask for a change to (or replacement of) the sidebar widget which relates specifically to the discussion forums. At present, we have the ‘New Forum Posts‘ widget, which shows the most recent reader-created topics in reverse chronological order. It’s one of the built-in widgets included in bbPress. Alternatively, there’s a ‘Recent Topics‘ widget which can be tweaked to show the most popular topics with recent replies. Moderators can’t view or change the widgets or the options within them, although Darth (and possibly Craig) should be able to do it.
Unfortunately, the ability to keep a specific topic at the top of the list isn’t supported by any of the standard bbPress sidebar widgets. The underlying PHP/CSS code would have to be re-written to prioritise topics with a ‘sticky’ flag. As I’m sure you appreciate, making changes to source code can be hazardous, so it would need to be done very carefully.
In summary, changing the blog functionality to make certain reader-generated content more prominent on the sidebar would affect the appearance of all pages throughout the blog, so it would first have to be approved by Craig. Darth would then need to modify the PHP/CSS algorithm to incorporate and prioritise the ‘sticky’ flag, and test the new code thoroughly before deployment. New permissions would have to be assigned to the moderator accounts to enable them to mark certain topics as ‘sticky’; and of course the list of privileged topics would have to be continually monitored and revised. (And as the sequence would be determined by subjective choice rather than by algorithm, it would no doubt attract demands from frustrated commenters who want their own topic promoted in the same way.)
So the seemingly simple tweak you’re requesting would entail changes to PHP code, plugin configurations, account permissions and moderation procedures. The task would involve all members of the blog team.
Unfortunately, the prospects of making any functional changes on this blog are rather slim. When fixes were requested for bugs in the bbPress control panel, the system administrator responded that it would require an upgrade which could be very difficult due to underlying version incompatibilities.
Perhaps the best compromise would be to deploy the ‘Recent Topics’ widget and tweak it to show the “freshest” topics that have received the most recent replies. The request should be addressed to Craig or Darth. Bear in mind, though, that there have also been numerous pleas over the years from readers and moderators alike for other reasonable tweaks (such as including a link to the ‘moderation rules for commenters’ in the standard page header), to no avail. So don’t bank on your request being granted any time soon.
I notice that Kim is regularly linking to the petition and the discussion forum in her comments. That’s probably more effective than tweaking a sidebar menu.
February 16, 2020 at 17:16 #50251
Many thanks for your in-depth reply. I had not appreciated just what would be involved in the change I requested.
Of course, I can understand that this blog is about Craig’s posts and that the forums available for commenters to create threads are necessarily a secondary function – though a bonus.
February 16, 2020 at 20:31 #50255
The easiest way to get around all this is to ask Craig if he could kindly write about this important topic, even if only from the angle of the threat to democracy that this present government represents. I know that this is presumptuous of me to make this request but it will always be an important topic as long as this government is in place. If we do have such a post then it can be kept going in the still discussing panel. Hope this is not too much to ask!
February 16, 2020 at 23:43 #50259
Agreed, SA, that would do it.
I thought Craig would be writing on this subject since he wrote, on the day of the coup, in his ‘Resolution’ article: “It is very difficult to collect my thoughts into something coherent after four hours sleep in the last 48 hours, but these are heads of key issues to be developed later.”