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  • Content creation in VB5 is a nightmare

    I just upgraded to VB 5.2 and I was hoping some really annoying bugs would be fixed by now, but that's not the case. I want to use this opportunity to share some really annoying things I'd like to see fixed.

    First a bug. A CMS author created a new article and "attached" a photo to the post. As admin, I am unable to delete that attachment and embed it instead. Embedding the photo into the post is the only way to get the featured image to show on the articles home page. When I try to delete the attached photo, I get a "please upload a photo" message and it won't let me save the page until I do upload/attach a new photo. Additionally, I can't enable public previews nor can I enable the page view counter. Both are stuck and won't enable. Also, even though the article is published and live, the slider shows the "publish now" as disabled and I can't enable it.

    For general content creation, let me just say that I HATE how there are so many different ways to basically do the same thing. Having lots of options is nice, but more options also means more confusion. I'm a right-brained person and I like my users all following the same uniform protocol. What I'm seeing instead is a sloppy, disjointed mess.

    To share photos, you can click the camera "Share Photo" button, or click the "upload attachment" button (photos can be added with this button) or as a third option you can go into the advanced editor and embed the photos that way.

    People use these attachment features all the time and I hate it! Honestly I feel like there is no reason in the world why anyone would ever need to "attach" photos to a thread. Photos should always be embedded directly into the post so the user can see directly what the person is talking about from the photos shown inside the thread. I like how you can set thumbnail sizes, but why oh why is there also an option to "attach" the photos? Turning off attachment permissions doesn't get rid of these confusing buttons. Instead, it gives the user a frustrating "You don't have permission to do this" message after the file has already presumably been uploaded.

    Same thing with links. You can click the "Post Link" button or play with links in the Advanced Editor. I like how the "Post Link' button gives you a little preview of the page you are linking to, but again it appears as an attachment, and you can only do this once per post. Links should be embedded directly into the post. It's nice, easy and clean, like this:


    I want to talk about this one thing that is saw...

    here's the link

    But then I found this and it's also pretty incredible...

    next link

    Now I want to go on finishing the rest of my post....



    But here's a news flash. Not a single one of my users has ever created links using the advanced text editor, which makes posts look sooooo nice. There has got to be a way to blend both linking tools into a single linking feature that allows you to create elegant (multiple) links within posts.

    Lastly, for some reason, Vbulletin makes a mess out of posts with embedded images. Instead of getting something really neat and clean like this:

    Text
    <space>
    Image
    <space>
    Text


    You end up with this:

    Text
    Image
    <space>
    <space>
    <space>


    And there is no way to fix the formatting! Even by going into the source or removing the formatting and starting all over. You'd think that by hitting the enter key between Text and Image, you'd get a breaking space. But no, you wind up with spaces in random places further down the page. It looks horrible. You have text almost touching the image underneath it. And there's no way to add padding around the image.

    Overall, I'm really happy with VBulletin. But these are some issues I really feel need to be addressed ASAP. I mean, this is basic content creation we're talking about--the whole purpose of Vbulletin in the first place.
    Last edited by fenderbob; Sat 23 Jan '16, 8:29pm.

  • #2
    Here, tell me these features wouldn't be awesome....

    Click image for larger version

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ID:	4336910

    Click image for larger version

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Size:	136.1 KB
ID:	4336911

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    • IggyP
      IggyP commented
      Editing a comment
      for images inserting it also needs to be easy to select from vb albums and use diff sizes able to insert into text

  • #3
    ya basic content creation...+1

    formatting n albums/image use pls pls...

    Comment


    • #4
      For me, it's good to save only advanced editor's functions, so I just hide link and camera icons. It will be not good for me to use not-advanced-editor, because there is a trouble with deleting its content in posts
      I'm an Ukrainian developer, so I'm sorry for my bad English

      Comment


      • #5
        I think they are both two important features. Aside from text, links and photos are the bread and butter of web pages. There has got to be an easy, intelligent way for users to create them in their posts.

        And yes, I definitely think there needs to be a way for users to sort their uploaded photos into a sort of gallery, if for no other reason than to re-embed old photos into new posts.

        Think about how important memes are to certain forums. They add entertainment and break up the monotony of text text text text. If you click the "add image" button and are given the option to upload a new photo OR paste an image url OR select a photo from your personal gallery, imagine how cool that would be. Each user could have their own library of memes in their arsenal for entertaining forum engagement

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by fenderbob View Post
          People use these attachment features all the time and I hate it! Honestly I feel like there is no reason in the world why anyone would ever need to "attach" photos to a thread. Photos should always be embedded directly into the post so the user can see directly what the person is talking about from the photos shown inside the thread.
          Well, I can se several reasons why photos only should be attached and not showing in the text. On my site I use that for sharing different kind of clipart and it makes it easier to get an overview if not embedded in text. Also for pictures that belongs to reports that I add it is easier to have them grouped as attachments and not embedded in text.

          Comment


          • #7
            ya it can be helpful but one thing we already have issue where if a member clicks the photo tab all the photo dont come up, only "photo content" ones do....if they do add an auto embed, um...well now i think more im not sure what u mean even by that? currently in vb5 you can upload as an attachment and it wont show ugly thumbnail in text(except for when its a bug, which happens easily atm)...then u can use that just as easy right?

            they do need to make albums and images easier to use and cross publish tho...sooo bad....not funny....

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by pmquist View Post

              Well, I can se several reasons why photos only should be attached and not showing in the text. On my site I use that for sharing different kind of clipart and it makes it easier to get an overview if not embedded in text. Also for pictures that belongs to reports that I add it is easier to have them grouped as attachments and not embedded in text.
              Right, and in this case they should be simply called "attachments" just like you'd attach a .pdf or .doc file. VB5 does have an attachment option, but this should be a totally different tool from post content creation/creating images INSIDE the post.

              Currently, everything gets attached unless you play with the advanced editor, which no one ever does, at least on my site.

              Things need to be more clear.

              Attachments should be attachments. And images that show in a post like every other web page on the internet should have their own easy-to-use tool.
              Last edited by fenderbob; Mon 25 Jan '16, 12:32pm.

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              • pmquist
                pmquist commented
                Editing a comment
                Aha, I see what you mean. That is a good thought! :-)

            • #9
              By auto-embed, I mean there should be an easy way to get a picture right in the post just like this:

              Click image for larger version

Name:	photo.jpg
Views:	33
Size:	36.5 KB
ID:	4337051

              ^ I did this using the Advanced Editor > Image button.

              Comment


              • #10
                But instead, everyone on my site always hits the "share photo" button instead, which attaches the photo to the post, which sucks.

                Like This:

                Comment


                • naszeaudio
                  naszeaudio commented
                  Editing a comment
                  the same here, this sucks, whole forum looks like this as people are not experts and just click on the camera

              • #11
                The attachment button aka paperclip button also sets the pic inline like the image button in the advanced editor, however, unless they fixed it, does not work in responsive mode. This particular issue has a mobile fix by Glenn Vergara that works excellent. On my site, I hid the camera button to prohibit it's use.


                Comment


                • #12
                  Originally posted by Replicant View Post
                  On my site, I hid the camera button to prohibit it's use.
                  Yup, that's another really confusing problem for Admins. There are sooooooo many excessive and repetitive permissions options for all this crap. Hiding the camera button doesn't remove all the other ways to upload photos.

                  For usergroup attachment permissions, I like the options where you can allow/disallow which file types are allowed to be uploaded. And a single permission is simple enough: Can the usergroup upload attachments? Y/N...and if Yes, then a separate "attachment gallery" is created for all attached objects, where you could sort by file type and view photos, but the key is this is a separate gallery for attached objects...which by right should be treated differently anyway. And inside this gallery, there should be a way to organize things into sub-folders or sub-galleries if necessary.

                  But for inline photos, there should be 2 options and 2 options only:
                  • Can usergroup upload photos to embed directly into post? Y/N (if Yes, photo galleries are enabled/allowed automatically, but admin could probably set gallery settings/permissions/space limits, etc. elsewhere)
                  • Can usergrroup embed external images via link URL? Y/N

                  Period. Unless there's other stuff going on behind the scenes that I'm not aware of, I have no clue as to why the current version makes all this so complicated.
                  Last edited by fenderbob; Mon 25 Jan '16, 2:46pm.

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    You can turn off the share photo and link icons in the Usergroup Permissions. That will make it work pretty much like vBulletin 4. People can still attach using the paperclip and the insert image on the full editor tool bar. When attached with the attachment tool (paperclip on the right), they get buttons to insert them inline like you asked above.
                    Translations provided by Google.

                    Wayne Luke
                    The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud demonstration site.
                    vBulletin 5 API - Full / Mobile
                    Vote for your favorite feature requests and the bugs you want to see fixed.

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Originally posted by Wayne Luke View Post
                      You can turn off the share photo and link icons in the Usergroup Permissions. That will make it work pretty much like vBulletin 4. People can still attach using the paperclip and the insert image on the full editor tool bar. When attached with the attachment tool (paperclip on the right), they get buttons to insert them inline like you asked above.
                      Thanks. I mean, I guess I could just hide them for the time being.

                      I guess the attachment button is a little better being that you can at least embed the images inline.

                      But my main issue with that tool is that it isn't very explicit. Ok, most people will recognize the icon from email clients and will know it's for making attachments, but there is no pop-up window or anything letting users know which file types are supported. And a first time (or even veteran) user isn't going to even know why someone would need to attach a file to their post, let alone know that an image can be inserted inline with it, especially if they've never played with it before. They'll just ignore it. I mean, I didn't even know you could embed photos inline with it. Personally, I think only more advanced users would venture to play with this tool and for basic users, it's just as complicated as using the advanced text editor.

                      I really like the camera and link icons on the left (and maybe someday put a video button there, too, that works like the one in the advanced editor). They are explicit and there's no way for a user to misinterpret what they are for. I just wish they worked differently.

                      I really just wish there was an easy, idiot-proof way for people to do all this neat stuff on their own with little or no help from forum admin.

                      I hope vbulletin will take some of my suggestions into consideration. There have been a lot of complaints with this software, but my patience is slowly paying off. Things are gradually getting a lot better. But I think some very basic functionality still needs some serious improvement.

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Since I started this post, I've been reading through a lot of other posts where people are complaining about bugs and other things that need to be improved.

                        In another thread, someone mentioned about how Facebook is very intuitive and easy to use, and that's part of the reason why it became so popular. People, with no computer experience at all, could easily create really interesting posts and soon everyone wanted to be part of that.

                        That's what my post here is really about. I hate comparing things, but in all honesty, I don't think vBulletin gets very high marks in the ease-of-use content creation department. Why would someone want to join and post on a VB5 forum when there are easier, more fun, and more interesting experiences elsewhere?

                        I listened to an interview with Matt Drudge recently and he was talking about how social media has become the ghetto of the Internet. He said these sites are basically big playgrounds where everyone conforms to the culture of that one single site. But the Internet was never supposed to be like this--where a huge chunk of the population all congregates to one single web site.

                        I think people are eventually going to tire of this.

                        Drudge said we shouldn't all be playing in these giant playgrounds. Instead, we should be out building our own playgrounds. This is what the Internet is all about. And I think this is what vBulletin attempts to do: it gives webmasters the ability to create their own playgrounds, exactly as the Internet was intended.

                        So while internet message boards and forums may have taken a hit in recent years because of the mass migrations to social media, I think ultimately people will eventually get sick of all those sites. Already teenagers are abandoning Facebook and are going directly to Instagram. Yes, I know FB owns Instagram, but my point is made of how fickle people are with these things. For another example, look at MySpace. Message boards was how the internet started, and I really believe they're here to stay.

                        But today's forums still have to compete with social media and I don't think it's an insurmountable task. But in this sense, the developers of message boards have a much harder job than ever before. Today's forums have to be easy to use. They've got to be fun. They have to be engaging so people will want to come back and new people will want to join.

                        When the euphoria of social media fizzles out (which I really think it will) people will be looking for something new. If forum technology is to survive, is has to offer an alternative, yet equally (or more) interesting experience.

                        I'm not saying forums are going replace social media. vBulletin 5 connect was based on "connecting" forums with social media. On paper it was a neat idea, but ultimately I think that avenue needs to be re-evaluated. Instead, I truly believe it should be focusing more on becoming an alternative to social media, with original features and ideas that social media sites will be envious of. Is this too much to ask? Maybe. But if you want my total and honest opinion, I think VB5 is really kind of dull and it offers precious little incentive to retain members and entice new ones. If something isn't done to make the experience more user-friendly, fun and somewhat addicting, I honestly don't see much of a future, at least with my site...
                        Last edited by fenderbob; Thu 28 Jan '16, 6:55pm.

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