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Near-Final List of Widgets


  • Edwin Brown
    started a blog post Near-Final List of Widgets

    Near-Final List of Widgets

    We've been doing a lot of work with widgets, and I have something that is close to the final list that will ship with vB 4.0. It's always possible something could change, but it looks right now like we have.

    1. Static HTML: This allows you to enter any static html. That means you can put a remote page in an i-frame, or an image, or a google gadget, or a lot of other things.
    2. Static BB Code: This gives you the BBCode editor and lets you put the results into a widget.
    3. My Friends: You can specify a content type (posts, social groups, social group messages, visitor messages, CMS articles, or CMS static html), a maximum age, and a maximum count, and your users will see that content posted by their friends.
    4. Recent Polls: You can specify either a specific poll or list of polls, or a specific user, and/or a forum, plus a maximum age and count, and you'll see a summary of matching polls.
    5. RSS Feed: You can pull RSS content in RSS2 or atom format and see it in the widget.
    6. Navigation: You can specify any combination of top-level nodes, parent nodes of the current page, and/or siblings of the current page. I find this on the right with all three options on, plus the breadcrumbs along the top, to be a good way to move around in cms. You may like something different.
    7. Recent activity: This gives you threads which have had at least one post in the last X days (default is 1). You can set a maximum count (default is 10). Within that, you get the threads with:
      1. Most recent activity
      2. Most views
      3. Most responses

    8. Generalized Search Widget: This is by far the most powerful. You can specify
      1. A content type. Default is everything, which then ignores the type-specific options.
      2. A Forum, with or without its children
      3. A social group category
      4. A social group
      5. A user
      6. All friends
      7. Keywords
      8. Tags
      9. Prefixes
      10. Maximum age
      11. As always, maximum count

    The search widget gives you a lot of capability. You have to be a bit careful using it. You can't do any damage, but you can enter combinations of terms that will never return information. So for example if you enter a prefix and type "Social Group Messages", you're never going to get a result. That's because prefixes only apply to threads. We've tried to catch the obvious inconsistencies, and what we do is ignore additional search parameters that would generate an impossible search. If you put your head to it you can certainly enter combinations we didn't block.

    Keep in mind that each of these is a widget type. You create widgets, each of which is one of these types with a specific set of parameters. So you could for example have ten statichtml widgets, each of which used a different google gadget. You could make five different search widgets, and myFriends widgets for visitor messages, posts, and social group messages. That would be eighteen widgets from three types. You then make eighteen page arrangements, and you can make multiple cms pages with each arrangement. If you have a hundred pages that use the same arrangement, you can change the widget on all 100 pages by changing it on the master arrangement. So although there are "only" eight widget types, you could easily find yourself creating dozens of widgets from the two or three types you find most useful.

    I'm intentionally not posting pictures. We're working hard on moving pages to the new styles, but there's a lot of work to do and we haven't done any of the widget or widget admin pages. The appearance at the moment is no different from my earlier post.

    Hope this helps.

    • Edwin Brown
      Edwin Brown commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by Booth;bt6484
      Yes that does sound good Edwin. I think it should be optional to set how many replies are included on the news article though

      Can't wait for all this to appear though. Can't come soon enough.
      That is one of the configuration settings.

    • Booth
      Booth commented
      Editing a comment
      Ed, your a superstar. Thanks for the info

    • HydraulicJack
      HydraulicJack commented
      Editing a comment
      IMHO the following is something I'd like to refer back to directly. Why doesn't this forum blog software have a check box or button or something that let's me know how to do it easily?

      Basically, a cherry picker for specific posts I'd like to index somehow. thanks!

      Originally posted by BWJ;bt6325
      1) lets say you are a member of a pet forum
      2) lets say you have a new hamster and you feel like sharing the news with the community
      3) - BUT - you actually don't feel for writing a new thread to communicate the news. The reasons could be: shyness, time, fatigue, or you find that the new pet could be interesting/fun news for your friends but completely uninteresting for the rest of the community... For some people it feels a little exaggerated and possibly stupid to PM your 28 friends with the news of your new hamster (added to the 17 hamsters you already have) - and even though you would love to tell them. So instead you just send the news as "a perfect discrete message". You change your 'hamster status' profile field and immidiately all your friends and contacts will get the information through their widget within their own member page (which naturally is private). Thereby you and your friends can follow each other much more intensively and at one place and with updated details (a "group" across social groups).

      As it is today, I think, not all members are keen to update their profile fields more than the original first time - not because they don't want to share with the public - but the unsureness whether all your 28 friends (which e.g. each have more than 30 friends and them selves a busy life) actually visit your profile, notice what has exactly been changed and cares for what the information is about- is too great. It's simply not worth the effort... No one will notice anyway --- and if they do there might go long time before they are aware. If you have looked 5 times without changes you probably don't look the sixth.

      If you know your friends has the possibility to follow your small/big steps in life - then I think you also would be more keen to tell about it simply by changing your profile details when appropriate. The example with the hamster could obviously be anything else from maritual status, address changes, hobbies, religion etc. You have already invented the widget with your friends latest posts which is very fine - but it could be even better if one for profile fields is also made. People will login more often due to human nature of curiosity. This is more fun, it's more dynamic, it's more unpredictable, it's exciting, it's simply an valuable asset for any forum. The members will have another system perfectly inbetween the thread/blog system and the PM system. It is not completely private and not completely public, it's perfect inbetween. This is probably one of the main reasons for Facebook's success. If you couldn't track changes in your friends lifes on Facebook it would surely not have become what it is today.

      We need to be able to compete with Facebook and other social sites with their own weapons. Vbulletin has a relative powerfull user profile system (except the completely annoying fact that you only are allowed to input 32 data in a multiple selection field - but thats another story!) but its potential could be exploited even further.
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  • MySaltyReef
    by MySaltyReef
    hey guys i am busy playing around with vb5 since beta2 for 5.1.0 is out and articles will soon be available in 5

    what i am not understanding the modules or what i know as widgets from vb4...
    Fri 21 Feb '14, 10:46am