Preview of the Forum Thread module

Forum Thread ModulePart of devoting my professional undertakings to Drupal has been to begin doing some more serious module development. Thus we have a preview of the Forum Thread module. It is a module that I'm developing for a sponsor and will be releasing on Drupal.org in the next couple of weeks. The design is to take Drupal's standard forums and in the most Drupalish way possible provide threaded forums that are more similar to the traditional forum look of My Little Forum or mailman archives. Having looked at several of the existing forum solutions I didn't care for the "bolt-on" nature of the forums. It seems it should be possible to do it with native Drupal forums and without adding any additional data to the database.

To that end this screenshot gives a look at a very early version of the module. For reference this screenshot shows the standard forum view of the same forum.

I'll post more details soon but this also factors into my battle plans for Drupal 7. In addition to getting on the bandwagon of changes for the Project module I want to drive some changes in the way the forum and comment modules work. It seems distinctly un-Drupalish that comment_render exists. At a minimum this function needs to be split into a get_comments and comments_theme functions.

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15 Comments

Check...

Make sure you check you're not developing something that's already started, by asking on the IRC channels and checking on the modules pages. This project seems like it replicates, or would be better as a part of, the advanced_forum module. I'm sure Michelle would be glad of any assistance... :)

Good advice

Thanks for the advice. Indeed I did check on IRC a couple of times and looked extensively at the Advanced Forum module as well as the other modules. Advanced forum works more on the theme level and adds variables. This ends up focusing more on the way comments are handled and displayed (and by extension how the forums are displayed). It does seem possible that there could be a convergence with Advanced Forums and that the two modules may work together down the road.

Threading

"It does seem possible that there could be a convergence with Advanced Forums and that the two modules may work together down the road."

Probably not. Advanced Forum as well as the work we are doing on the core forum module is really moving away from both comments and the threaded forum model. So I guess your module will fill a niche for people who like threading.

Michelle

PS: Any reason why you have both live preview and forced preview on comments?

Hmmm well...

What direction is forum taking to move away from comments?

And I'll have to dig into why comment preview is being required. It is set as optional in the settings so something is askew.

Forum posts as nodes

See http://groups.drupal.org/node/8598 for the plan of attack. Of course, there's no guarantee our work will make it into core for D7 but I plan on taking anything that doesn't make it to core and adding it to advforum. So one way or another, advforum will be using nodes by D7 and it's meant to be used flat.

You're not alone in liking threading, though, so your module will serve those needs. But I don't see a merging happening as the philosophy is too different.

Michelle

Forum posts as nodes

Great I'll be doing what I can to help with that. I think there are good cases for both solutions and ideally to allow the site owner to decide at the point of themeing. I definitely like the idea of forum posts as nodes and will be exploring the idea of a couple of ideas related to creating structured arrays for lists like forum nodes, comments, and outlines and having properties set on branches or leafs of the array that will then be rendered through a theme function to allow the greatest flexibility for site owners. There are certainly some performance hurdles and that's a lot to try to get into D7. Another (possibly related) need I see is the ability to easily render lists like forum posts in different styles in the same site (instead of relying on a site-wide default). For example the ability to have a flat-forum for the forums area while maintaining the threaded display of comments on blog posts.

There may also be some more edge-cases like the ability to show the last four top-level comments on a case-tracker post.

Different theming

I don't know whether having threaded on the theme level will be possible or not. It all depends on what makes it into core. But that wouldn't affect comments on blog posts or comments anywhere for that matter. The idea is to use nodes for all topics/replies in the forum so it doesn't rely on the comment system.

Michelle

Have you looked at the Zen

Have you looked at the Zen theme before? I think that theme would be a very good one to include in the default installation of Drupal, if you're going for a nice-looking theme that's easy to customize.

Forum

Has the forum actually worked out for you? Do you have any updated info on this?

Hi I'm new here

I've recently joined and wanted to introduce myself :)

Hi Do you know if the Forum

Hi

Do you know if the Forum thread module is not compatible with the Organic Group Forum module ?

Thanks !!

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Submited by : Caballos

It might not be

It might not be. I can't think of a reason offhand that it wouldn't be... but I also haven't had great luck with the reliability of teh Organic Groups Forum module or most other modules that try to mix OG and another form of access control.