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 Post subject: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:58 am 
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Three new forums were added today, and many forums were renamed and/or redescribed for clarity purposes, and moved around in an attempt to optimize the user experience.

I am looking to promote three or four members to temporary Moderator status if they are willing to do the work of moving existing threads into these new forums. If you want the job, please PM me by the end of day Wednesday.

The new forums are:

Announcements (this one!): Everyone can read, registered users can reply to topics, mods can create topics.

Puzzle Collecting: Finally a place for the collectors, free of discussions on things like cut depth, number of moves and group theory!

New Puzzles: Personally, I'd love to have all the new puzzle topics in one place. They're my favourite.

It now seems obvious that we need forum categories to organize our growing number of forums. I tried it out but the design looked terrible so I left it as is for now. Yet another thing on the TO-DO list.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:01 am 
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Maybe we would get permissions to move our own threads for a while, to help reorganize things. I'd love to see all new and old puzzle builds in one forum, as a kind of archive. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:44 am 
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Fantastic move Sandy!
Thank you very much for all your efforts!
Vadim


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:31 am 
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This is to make sure that i understand.

Threads of the form, "I made a half truncated cube," would go into Puzzle Building and Modding because the thread is not something new but is an example of puzzle building and modding.

Threads of the form, "I made this thing never seen before," would go into New Puzzles.

Threads of the form, "I am in the process of making this thing never seen before," would go in Puzzle Building and Modding as it is an on-going project, but when it was finished a new thread would be created announcing the creation of the new puzzle in New Puzzles.

Is that correct?

What about a thread that both announces a new puzzle and goes into detail about how it was built? Should such threads be split into two parts in the future (one for the puzzle, the other for the building process)?

[Added] I almost forgot, is a puzzle that looks the same as an existing puzzle but has a different mechanism (the pro-minx for example) considered a new puzzle?


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:04 pm 
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Your summary is consistent with my intentions for these new forums.

I think of the organization of topics into different forums as a way of improving readability, not as a way of hindering posting! Just use your discretion.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:10 pm 
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Looks great Sandy. I love the new board names.
Well done!


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:52 pm 
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Ehh, this will have to take a while for me to get used to. I kind of prefer having fewer forums though.

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:03 pm 
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It sure is funny NOT seeing the "New Topic" button at the bottom of this forum!

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:19 pm 
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Hi, the reorganization is okay, but can you please change the description of the "Solving Puzzles" section? It seems kind of condescending to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:25 pm 
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I love it, Sandy. You are a genius.

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:45 pm 
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qqwref wrote:
Hi, the reorganization is okay, but can you please change the description of the "Solving Puzzles" section? It seems kind of condescending to me.


Heh! One man's "funny" is another man's "condescending". If you write a new description that people agree on, I'll replace mine with yours!

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:55 pm 
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I went on and was amazed. Great job Sandy!

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:25 pm 
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qqwref wrote:
Hi, the reorganization is okay, but can you please change the description of the "Solving Puzzles" section? It seems kind of condescending to me.

It takes a degree of arrogance to be insulted by the title of a forum board. We all could use a little bit of humility. Some more than others.
:D


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:32 pm 
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Looks like I've joined the forums at the perfect time!

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:17 pm 
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It's always a perfect time to join this forum. Welcome!


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:07 pm 
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The "Help Requests & User Contributions" forum has been hidden until I can figure out if it's still useful. All of the off-topic posts that it contained have been moved to the apropriate forums.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:17 am 
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Very ambitious and correct (in my opinion) move. :)

Maybe there are more forums, but at least now, we can search what we want easier.
And yes, new puzzles forum has the potential to become everyone's favorite.

:)


Pantazis

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:40 pm 
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flambore wrote:
qqwref wrote:
Hi, the reorganization is okay, but can you please change the description of the "Solving Puzzles" section? It seems kind of condescending to me.

It takes a degree of arrogance to be insulted by the title of a forum board. We all could use a little bit of humility. Some more than others.
:D


I didn't ask to be flamed, flambore, and no, you don't have to be excessively arrogant to be insulted by something someone wrote. Look, what I'm saying is that the description "It's okay, you can admit it, you need help solving it" is insulting to people who don't go to that board because they have no idea how to solve a puzzle, but instead to talk about ideas for new methods, collaborate with other members to find more efficient solutions, or help out people who are having more trouble. (I really hope there are people like that here.)

How about a topic title that's still humorous but is less personal, like "Messed up your favorite puzzle and you can't get it back? Want to solve it even faster next time? We've got the algorithms and advice you need."

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:26 pm 
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I like fewer categories, like what we had before. Now, if you build a puzzle and decide to sell it, where do you post? Puzzle Building, New Puzzles, or Marketplace? Like I said, I like fewer, more general forums. Forums should be general, and topics should be specific.

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:30 pm 
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Justin B wrote:
I like fewer categories, like what we had before. Now, if you build a puzzle and decide to sell it, where do you post? Puzzle Building, New Puzzles, or Marketplace? Like I said, I like fewer, more general forums. Forums should be general, and topics should be specific.

That was already spread across two forums anyway. I fail to see how it would be much different now.


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:04 pm 
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Thanks qqwref, much better than mine. I made one small change to bring it in line with the others. (I consciously avoid using "we" like that.)

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:33 pm 
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Justin B wrote:
Now, if you build a puzzle and decide to sell it, where do you post? Puzzle Building, New Puzzles, or Marketplace?


Post in Puzzle Building while you're building it, New Puzzles when it's done, and Marketplace when you're ready to sell it. Seems to me that those would be three distinct conversations, probably attracting different subgroups of members, and happening at different times. My guess is that when the situation you described has actually happened in the past, people have ended up posting more than once over several months.

I would also like to address what I believe is closer to the source of your message. With so many members, I no longer have the expectation that every change will be liked by everyone. It is my goal to improve a lot things in the coming year. I realize that the term "improvement" is highly subjective, however, and some people may think of my "improvements" as "unncessary changes". If any of these "improvements" are widely disliked, clearly it was not an "improvement" after all and I will certainly be led to reconsider. I don't intend to have a poll before each time I plan or affect a change to the website, but I am definitely open to reading the results of unbiased user polls.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:40 pm 
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what happened to the "user help and contributions" sub-forum?

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:52 pm 
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TheCube wrote:
what happened to the "user help and contributions" sub-forum?
Sandy wrote:
The "Help Requests & User Contributions" forum has been hidden until I can figure out if it's still useful. All of the off-topic posts that it contained have been moved to the apropriate forums.

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:20 pm 
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I like the "new Puzzles" forum. I have no desire to build, and never look at the building forum. Every once in a while someone will post a reference and I go hunting. Now I feel as though I won't miss quite so much.

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:05 pm 
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Alonso, merlintocs and TomZ have answered the call for help to populate these new forums with threads. Each has been given Temporary Moderator status. Thanks for your help, guys.

We'll leave it at that for now, and take stock of the progress in a week or so.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:15 pm 
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Thanks Sandy! I'm very excited to help out around here.


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:42 am 
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I've gone through a little over half of the threads in puzzle building. The new puzzle forum now has 4 pages. The puzzle building forum started with 41 pages, now 37 remain, of which still 17 pages are awaiting processing.

So the new puzzles forum will have about eight pages! Exciting to know we have so many jewels around here.

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:36 pm 
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Please triple check everything because I notice this wasn't moved the last time to. Or don't you think it should be moved and if so Why? It's still in General Topics.

This is the very first time we ever saw the Gigaminx.


viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4209&hilit=my+new+project

I'm just trying to help you out thats all.

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:26 pm 
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I've been working on the General Topics forum. So far, most of the threads I've moved have gone to the Puzzle Solving forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:56 pm 
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Darren Grewe wrote:
This is the very first time we ever saw the Gigaminx.

No need to shout! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:22 am 
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I've arrived at page 29 of puzzle building. Sadly, allmost all the images are broken there and beyond, so there is no point in moving threads beyond this. We've got 6 pages worth of new puzzles though!

Is there any chance of these pictures still being in excistence somewhere? They were all hosted on this site. I think it is sad they're all gone.

Please let me know if I have missed any threads or moved any threads that shouldn't have been moved.

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Buy my mass produced puzzles at Mefferts:
- 4x4x6 Cuboid for just $38
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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:06 am 
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Regarding the broken images, it has been noted in the past that the forum
used to accept HTML code, but now it is not. Is there is any possibility to fix this?

That way, many old topics will automatically be decorated (again) with lovely pictures.

:)


Pantazis

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:37 am 
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kastellorizo wrote:
Regarding the broken images, it has been noted in the past that the forum
used to accept HTML code, but now it is not. Is there is any possibility to fix this?

That way, many old topics will automatically be decorated (again) with lovely pictures.

:)


Pantazis


I think enabling HTML is a matter of just checking a box. I don't see why we shouldn't.

This will not fix all of the images. Alot of the images that don't display properly have broken URL's.

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:45 am 
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TomZ wrote:
I think enabling HTML is a matter of just checking a box. I don't see why we shouldn't.


I hope it can be done because it has been requested again in the past.


TomZ wrote:
This will not fix all of the images. Alot of the images that don't display properly have broken URL's.


Very true. Many of my old posts though, have all got some active images,
and I do not intend to change them one by one, using the current code
because it is too tedious.

;)


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:21 am 
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Tom, please move the threads. I'll write a script to fix the ones I can. We have something like 1.5 gigs of pictures that have been attached through this forum on the server. It's just silly to not have all that coolness appearing in the threads.

Someone please post a message here that includes a few of examples of messages that contain images that are hosted on TwistyPuzzles.com but are no longer working in the message.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:49 am 
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The last page of Puzzle Building has seven threads where the last post was supposedly on Wed Dec 31, 1969 at 7:00 pm by Guest.

I noticed that when I was looking to see what happened with pictures and formatting in older threads.


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:34 pm 
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chris the cynic wrote:
The last page of Puzzle Building has seven threads where the last post was supposedly on Wed Dec 31, 1969 at 7:00 pm by Guest.

I noticed that when I was looking to see what happened with pictures and formatting in older threads.

Those are probably 12:00 AM Jan 1, 1970, but the board is subtracting 5 hours when it displays it for you. That implies you're in a time zone that's 5 hours before GMT, so you must be in the easternmost part of North America.

The database stores dates as the number of seconds after the epoch date, which is 1970-01-01 00:00:00 Z. When a date is missing, it's assumed to be exactly the epoch date. So those dates aren't so much wrong as missing.


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:36 pm 
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This seems to have been the result of people deleting their posts and/or accounts. (One seems to be the account "R.E.T.") There are about a dozen of them on the last page of the General Puzzle Topics forum, most of which were created by "guest" (which is impossible), have the topic subject "aa", and seem to be missing the thread-starting message. That seems like people burning bridges to me.

The question now is what to do about it. The ones with valid topics and thread-starter user accounts can easily be repaired... which I will do someday when it's not past midnight, maybe even tomorrow. The others aren't easy to repair since the first post is missing and most of the content of the thread (that which is "on topic", at least) is pretty much meaningless. I'm sure I could dig up the original posts in the database backups... but that seems like more work than it's worth. I'll delete the headless threads unless someone has an objection.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:50 am 
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I saw that you rescued The Official "Puzzle Building" Thread, a side effect of that appears to have been that it was perpetually unread. I visited the thread repeatedly and it was still marked as having new posts where there were none. I posted in the thread and the problem went away. I'm guessing that the last post needs to be readable for a thread to be marked as no new posts.

Having threads that erroneously say they have new posts is better than having useful threads on the last page, but it would be better if we had neither.


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:13 pm 
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I have tried a great many things to fix these flaws (one of those things resulted in the effects you observed). I even deleted some of the threads which appeared to be hopelessly flawed, but 53 remain which look salvagable. Deep in the database there exists records of the posts which used to be the last post in each of these threads (which, incidentally, all seem to have been made by user accounts which no longer exist). They aren't showing up, likely because the user account doesn't exist. I'm not yet exactly sure about how I want to resolve this. I'm going to try a few more things today.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:19 pm 
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Sandy, I don't like the "improvements" you made today, what happened to the Dedicated Member's Board? ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:53 am 
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Sorry but I preferred things the way they were. In fact I'd just have General topics, Off topic, Solving and Marketplace. Gone are the days of a quickly checking Twisty. Also, If someone presents a new puzzle it's natural that the building of it will also be discussed in that thread. I think it's become too messy and many good posts will get missed.

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:24 am 
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Tony Fisher wrote:
Sorry but I preferred things the way they were. In fact I'd just have General topics, Off topic, Solving and Marketplace. Gone are the days of a quickly checking Twisty. Also, If someone presents a new puzzle it's natural that the building of it will also be discussed in that thread. I think it's become too messy and many good posts will get missed.

I still check all threads (although I do admit skipping over a handful I don't see myself getting any info worth reading from.

I'd gladly start organizing a monthly newsletter again if the desire by the community is there and if I could get a bit of help from other members.

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:49 am 
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That is an old, but nice touch that is missing! I would love to see that one up and running again but I'm sure its a lot of work. You have my vote Noah!

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:55 am 
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katsmom wrote:
That is an old, but nice touch that is missing! I would love to see that one up and running again but I'm sure its a lot of work. You have my vote Noah!

Actually, you missed the newer ones I did for a couple months last year around this time. It's a slightly different format than the nostalgic one I believe you're thinking of.

November
viewtopic.php?t=8337

December
http://www.twistypuzzles.com/forum/view ... f=1&t=8807

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:17 am 
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Sure did,
I just went back and checked emails. Not there. Oh well, nice write ups all the same. You still have my vote.

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:17 am 
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Unfortunately the great number of users now present pretty much necessitates the creation of more forums. I too remember the days when the forum was much simpler, but the traffic was much much lighter as well. I could check the forum several Times a week and be completely caught up while today even checking several Times a day I can barely keep up with every topic. If I miss a day or two then some forums have the new topics wrapping around to page two.

With more forums, it's somewhat easier to home in on what you're most interested in and there's less likelihood that topics will have already wrapped around to page 2 or 3, making it easier to see at a glance what topics are new and what is up to date. You do lose some simplicity but there is much to be gained.

In terms of sections that tend to overlap (especially new puzzles and building) of course some crosstalk is inevitable. But I think it does help to some degree that introductions to new puzzles are kept somewhat separate from the usual discussions about using stickers, molding techniques, two part epoxy putty, tools, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:21 am 
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Location: Bay Area, CA
I like the new forums, but see the benefits of both. Like Jin I have a hard time keeping up with TwistyPuzzles these days, even though I have stopped Solving and Off Topic.

So a transitional note: What to do about my Neon thread? It is four pages of building blog, but also the puzzle announcement (the Kilominx as well). My announcement threads tend to be building blogs, so what is the proper way to merge this into the new format?

I can create a new "Announcement" post and link to the building post which then perhaps can move into Building? As it the whole thing is not in the building forum which feels wrong, but the first post of each thread fits the New Puzzles forum fine.

Any other ideas? If not I'll probably do this and ask a moderator to move the building part.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Forum Reorganization
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2000 2:51 am
Location: New Ulm, Minnesota, USA
Jin H Kim wrote:
Unfortunately the great number of users now present pretty much necessitates the creation of more forums. I too remember the days when the forum was much simpler, but the traffic was much much lighter as well. I could check the forum several Times a week and be completely caught up while today even checking several Times a day I can barely keep up with every topic. If I miss a day or two then some forums have the new topics wrapping around to page two.

With more forums, it's somewhat easier to home in on what you're most interested in and there's less likelihood that topics will have already wrapped around to page 2 or 3, making it easier to see at a glance what topics are new and what is up to date. You do lose some simplicity but there is much to be gained.

In terms of sections that tend to overlap (especially new puzzles and building) of course some crosstalk is inevitable. But I think it does help to some degree that introductions to new puzzles are kept somewhat separate from the usual discussions about using stickers, molding techniques, two part epoxy putty, tools, etc.


I agree with what you had to say 100%. I read every new post everyday because this is the only place that I read period and its good for the mind/brain. As a form goes and gets older it needs and has to change.

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