Fate of Io
My Ideas for Features in Later PM Versions
2002/11/01 12:01:26 PST by Alex [0/0]

Those are ideas for the future. More immediate suggestions belong in a different thread.


* I guess a fundamental addition in a next version of [Project Manager] would be the ability to link (or "attach") binary submissions to the actual nodes where they belong. It would then be possible, for example, to view all Brooke images from her character node. Otherwise we'll end up with hundreds of binaries which are hard to go through, and the visual info will not be associated with the content structure.

* A global image gallery would also be helpful for showing off what we got. Like the one we had in v3.3. I can write one in JSP if Temporal is low on time.

* Other file manipulation features can include automatic thumbnail generation and auto-captioning a copyright line to the images ("stamping"). I'm sure a high-level Java library can be used to get image dimensions, music file play-length, and other info.

* Music files are best uploaded in MIDI format, as a requirement, but rendering them (with FoIFont) to produce MP3 / OGG files should be a systematic thing. Barring a miracle of automation, this can't be done on the server, nor should it. But the Project Manager should be able to handle different formats for the same submitted item, which can be uploaded at different times. For example, MusicMan may upload a MIDI file and UnknownOne or Waznite may attach an OGG version the next day.

* On the old forum I had some other v3.3 ideas that would also be useful in v4PM. Those included uploading 3D models with an attached 2D image file(preview before downloading), attaching PSD files to images, blind submission ranking, etc.

* It would be nice if from the member's profile you could list all submissions made by this member. Then the FoI profile page becomes sort of like a portfolio index.


* "AKA" (Also Known As) list for node aliasing would be essential to making some of the below features work correctly. That way "Dell" or "Delloran", "Beniport" or "Port Korra", and "TOS" or "Terms of Service" identifiers would all work as one'd expect.

* Node "VERSION"ing would be, basically, just adding a version attribute to every node, defaulting to "1.00". The person with access to this node would obviously be able to change this attribute as well. I thought of that mainly because my below "node shortcuts" idea won't work for Official Charter if we mix the version number into the name. But this would also be useful for other official content, OA's (Official Articles) as Davy calls them.

* Additional optional attributes (like "DESCRIPTION" or "KEYWORDS") can be added, all defaulting to blank. Why not, as long as they don't get in the way. Those attributes, if set, can go into the META tags for the page (to get us more traffic from search engines), and they can later be used with our own internal search script.


* In addition to URL's (http, ftp, aim, or e-mail address with no protocol prefix), how about enabling customizable shortcuts that can be used inside square brackets in posts. Here's my idea -- for each "text shortcut" identifier there would be two replacements, plain and complete. For example, for the [:)] shortcut the plain replacement would simply be ":)" and the full would be the HTML image tag for that smiley. If those can be parsed per page-view, the user could be allowed to control if "plain" or "complete" items are shown. If registered users can define their own "shortcuts", the same could apply to sig banners. This would result in a forum where people who like similes and other flashy things get to use them and have a convenient way of inserting them, and people who don't like them wouldn't see them.

* The list of special things that can be put in square brackets, in addition to what I listen above, could include "node shortcuts" (different from "text shortcuts"). For example, [Syne] would be replaced with a link to the Syne page (node). [Dev] would link to Dev's user profile. [Terms of Service] would take the user to "project.v4pm.bugs" node. Etc. This would make it very easy to inter-link our content: just add square brackets around the proper nouns. That way a person reading the story would be able to look-up character descriptions 10x easier. This would also identify which proposed name / concept, that also get placed in square brackets but ignored by the parser, has been made official (that is, assigned a node). Finally this would save our Staff time in working with links they'd need to insert anyway, reduce link errors, and avoid 404s resulting from changed node structure.


* We'd eventually want a search feature (duh). In addition to the basics, entering one of those "node shortcuts" into the sidebar search box would take the user directly to this node. Imagine what it would be like to use v4PM to organize the content for a real-life game. You'd have 100s of 3D models, each location would break down to dozens of "senses", etc. Even without jumping to this extreme, you can understand how typing a shortcut ID would sometimes be faster than jumping through the hierarchy tree.

* The natural extension of that search feature would be use of dynamic shortcut URL's, like we did in v3.3. That is, the 404 page would redirect the user to the search script (in a special "page not found but here are some alternatives" mode if there is no direct match). This means www.FateOfIo.org/Dev or www.FateOfIo.org/TOS can be used instead of the longer URL's. This would be especially helpful because we're running Tomcat on a non-default port, and that in conjunction with the query makes our URL's especially difficult to type.


I'll add more when I'll think of something else, and I hope others will add ideas as well. Of course Temporal is lord and master with final word over everything.

2002/11/12 19:31:07 PST by Alex [0/0]


Any feedback?

2002/12/04 19:35:34 PST by jcore [0/6]

very good ideas

I would like to add a few myself.

  • keywords that can be followed to find a page listing all posts/etc that contain them (sort of like a wiki in some ways)

  • a little context when replying to a thread

  • ugh...I had some others but I forgot them

2002/12/05 16:06:21 PST by Siemova [0/24]
[Siemova's avatar]

I completely agree about needing "context when replying to a thread". Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn't work better to have the "new post" text field at the bottom of each page instead of being on a page by itself. Either that or the ability to reply to any post, and having it quote that post on the page where you type your reply. Or even something like the LiveJournal commenting system... But whatever the method, yes, context would be extremely helpful. ^_^

2002/12/06 05:30:31 PST by Temporal [manager]
[Temporal's avatar]

Oh, come on! Open the reply link in a new window is you need context! :P

2002/12/28 06:25:48 PST by Alex [0/0]


If we still wanna RP the dialog (see "Dialog?" thread), how about adding a Dialog Editor feature to v4PM? It can be as simple as a "one-liners" script to start, and evolve from there.

Dialogs would go under the appropriate nodes in the story section, similar to a thread but with a different interface. A specific member ("Character Expert") will be able to insert / append / edit / delete only the lines / actions by the character s\he's signed up to RP. The Story / Dialog Advisor would be able to edit the whole dialog block in one form, including moving lines around and inserting new ones.

Special [markup] tags can be defined, and at first they can be ignored by the parser and simply serve for the reader's notice. Those tags would define basic flow control pseudo-code, inserting variables, etc.


As I understand it, nodes can currently have news (on the node homepage), tasks, and topics. Special Music / Illustration nodes also have Submissions. As I suggested, the Story Plot nodes can have Dialog objects. In my previous post I suggested "attaching" Submissions to regular nodes to which they are related. Now, in addition to those, here are a few more node object ideas:

* Polls - this should bring v4PM's usefullness to the level of phpBB (well, almost, minus the support, recognition, plug-ins, luxury features, and reliability [image]). The purpose of polls is pretty much self-explanatory. As I demonstrated in v3.3b, ranking polls are more effective than select ones.

* Links - very simple feature similar to a Submission, only the action is to visit a given link instead of downloading the file from the server. This would make some topics that are centered on a specific link (ex 1, 2) better organized, and reduce the need to duplicate files available on other sites as submissions stored on the server (ex Gauge3D, my backups, etc). This feature would encourage recognition of any member projects (i.e. "affiliates"). Advanced versions of this feature would include multi-link fallback and automatic 404 detection.

* Summary (one per node only) - a page similar to the summary page on SourceForge.net (example), displayed upon clicking a STATS button. Only major nodes would have it, and the information would include the data for the sub-nodes. Data from the aforementioned "Node Attributes" would go here, as well as SF.net-like Activity Percentile, created / last used date, views counter, moderators, total size, etc.

* Hmm, if I'll think of anything else, I'll append.

fateofio.org © Copyright 2001-2005 Sam Pierce, Kenton Varda, and contributors
Powered by Io Community Manager, Evlan, and FreeBSD