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Old 03-29-2019, 06:09 PM   #1
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Random Suggestions

I love this site. But let's be honest. I hate it too.
I love it because of the amount of knowledge around. Because of the members who put their time and efforts to solve others problems without expecting anything. I don't want to give names here, because it would be a long list and most of you already know how kindly they try to solve submitted problems.

But at the same time there are a lot of inconvenience and too-old-fashioned problems around that makes surfing unsatisfying.

I don't want to be rude or disrespectful and only with less than several months history, tell the members who have been here for years, what to do and what not to do. I just hope this post be a start of several changes around.

I'm a member of 31+ other forums. And I think I have seen a lot.
Maybe it's only me feeling the problem mentioned below. Maybe there are some sort of tricks or ways that I'm not aware of. I've searched a lot around to find answers to the following problems and have found nothing. If you know anything that can help I'd appreciate any hint or advice.
  1. In restricted areas, Quote and Reply buttons are available and I can click them and type something and send it too. Later, I will receive a PM from an admin that don't post anything in those areas. because they are restricted. And your post may be shown after moderating. Then suggesting to read the rules.

    Come on. We are all programmers here. Do you leave a button in a form and expect a user not to click it. And if someone clicks the button ask him to first read the help file? We simply don't add that un-necessary button or simply lock it or set the visibility to No.

    Note: Though the warning I received was too soft and kind (maybe it wasn't a warning at all, just a remark), but you know the bitterness taste of it when someone tells you that you're out of the limits.

  2. The problem that's suffering me the most is the poor quality of search function.
    I've talked about it before here. Who believes it. I have to go to google to search this site. I've never seen it anywhere else.
  3. When a post is marked as Solved, it's not clear which reply was accepted. So in feature if someone has the same issue and searches for it and is lucky enough the search function brings up what he's looking for, it's still hard to understand which reply solved the problem. He has to go through all the replies, tries them one by one to find the cure. In most recent forums I've seen, the post that solves the a problem is shown immediately bellow the question, marked as correct answer and the whole conversation bellow:

  4. I can not mark a post for future reference. Almost every forum gives a way to members to mark some posts as favorite for future reference. Here when I find a discussion that is within my interest, I have to use browser's favorite to memorize the address. What's wrong with this? Well if go home, I don't have my office bookmarks. Or when my wife makes me keep waiting for a long time in a mall to buy something, I can't access them from my phone. (because of a lot of situations, I don't sync browsers between devices. I even don't use the same browser. Mobile and office is chrome. Home PC and tablet are on Firefox)
    Other sites give me something like this:



  5. I've rated several posts as Excellent or Good. How can I find them. Can I find them? If there's no way to reach them, what's the purpose of rating? To tell others that this post is excellent?
  6. Inserting in line images are nightmare. I have to upload the image first, copy the uploaded image's address, type the code to insert in line image and add the address. In other forums normally I can drag the image into the text box I'm typing and the image shows up there. Watch the mp4 attached please.
  7. It's very hard to understand who is answering to whom. In a thread with several replies, the posts are shown in a linear method with the posted date/time order. In recent forums, each post is shown under the post that is relevant to and takes an indent to clarify it's an answer to above post. And at the left there's a XML indent guide to show what's going on. So when you're reading a conversation, you'll have a branch. Because of lack of this feature, users use a # to send back a reader to a specified post. Read #3 or Did you followed the steps in #3.
    And I have to continue scrolling up and down to follow.

    Here's a screen shot of what I have in recent forums:





There are some others issues, but the post got longer than I expected.
All that said, I was lucky to find this forum that day.
Million thanks.


---
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bookmarks.jpg (41.0 KB, 261 views)
File Type: jpg Correct Answer.jpg (80.8 KB, 262 views)
File Type: jpg Thread.jpg (64.2 KB, 263 views)
Attached Files
File Type: zip MP4.zip (1.47 MB, 18 views)


Last edited by Tera; 03-29-2019 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 03-29-2019, 06:58 PM   #2
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Re: Random Suggestions

I feel your pain as well, especially as regards searchability. I know I have said to others search this site and you'll find many other references; I should qualify that and say use the Advanced Search of Google to do it.

For bookmarking, isn't that what subscribed threads are for, under thread tools.
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Old 03-29-2019, 08:35 PM   #3
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Re: Random Suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by essaytee View Post
For bookmarking, isn't that what subscribed threads are for, under thread tools.
Not exactly how a bookmark behaves. I need to set my options to receive emails in my inbox for subscribed threads. It's because when I ask a question, I need to know if anybody replies as soon as possible.
But when I need to bookmark a thread, I don't want to receive any mails for any replies added to that thread. Because it makes my inbox be flooded with messages from AWF. Specially if the thread is popular and goes to 4+ pages of replies.

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Old 03-29-2019, 10:21 PM   #4
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Re: Random Suggestions

I agree about the search function. I cannot even find posts I made to paste the link for someone.

I now use a Google url like Site:access-programmers.co.uk outlook calendar
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Old 03-30-2019, 07:26 AM   #5
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Re: Random Suggestions

The highlighted "correct answer" is a great tool, I use that in other forums to cut through the fluff. You start to recognize the members who are at the top of these tallies.
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:17 AM   #6
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Re: Random Suggestions

Hi Tera

You’re a member of over 30 forums! I can’t even name that many!

First of all, thank you for your long list of suggestions made with the intention of improving the functionality of this forum.
Soon after I started, I did something similar – see Site Suggestions Poll – and was very pleased when several of my suggestions were implemented.
Flushed with my success, I tried similar constructive requests at several other forums. My suggestions were either ignored or, in the case of another well-known Access forum, led to me being banned as the site owner took my suggestions personally & in a very negative way.

The VBulletin forum software is quite old and is some respects creaks quite badly. There is a newer version available, but the site owner decided against upgrading. Whether that’s to do with cost or feature set I don’t know. Perhaps if there were more paying members he might be more willing to upgrade?
What I do know is that all of the forums I use regularly have different issues which I find frustrating .... though not necessarily for the same reasons as you listed

Anyway, I’m going to try and respond to each of your suggestions. So my reply is equally long
In most cases, these are just my personal opinions and have no more importance than anybody else’s views. However I've listed a couple of things you may not be aware of

1. I think I was the person who contacted you about posting in a moderated area though I can’t remember why I did so. If so, it was just for information & certainly wasn’t in any sense a warning.

The idea of limiting responses is to try and ensure those areas remain focused.

Replies where someone is asking for specific help and which isn’t applicable to other members should in my view be in a separate thread. Sometimes it’s a judgement call & moderators such as myself won’t always get it right

However, there are definitely times when replying to moderated threads in certainly valid. Posting a reply is appropriate If the post adds value to the thread. For example see post #6 in this thread that I approved earlier today: A Better Date Picker
Whether some of the earlier replies in that thread added any real value and therefore should have been approved is perhaps another matter

2. I agree that the standard search is poor. In my experience it gives poorly targeted output and often seems to be based on very old posts. However, I find the advanced search feature generally works well. The features in the advanced search are almost identical in several other forums I use. Maybe I’ve just got used to it, but I can’t think of a forum which has a better search feature.

3. I understand your viewpoint about marking a particular solution as the ‘correct answer’ and indeed suggested it myself some time ago. The site owner is strongly opposed to doing so on the basis that other responses may be disregarded but be of at least equal value. I have since come to accept that viewpoint. However there is absolutely no reason why any OP cannot clearly indicate the post they found most useful

Stackoverflow (SO) and Experts Exchange (EE) both have ranking systems and its one of the reasons I really dislike those sites. At SO it regularly results in people being marked down for petty reasons and some real hostility shown (not that this site is immune to that!)
At both SO and EE, occasionally very incorrect answers are marked as ‘correct’. A few months ago, I asked to respond to a closed SO thread containing some very bad advice marked the the correct solution. I was told I couldn’t do so because it would undermine their system

4. A bookmarking system would indeed be very useful and is I believe possible with the current version of the forum software. In the past I have tried saving selected thread URLs in an Access database but it was too much hassle to maintain. Now I just save useful posts as browser favourites in a Forum Posts folder. The advantage of that is of course that I use the same folder for all forums that I use.

For info, when you subscribe to a thread you can choose not to get instant email notification. Other options are no emails, daily update and weekly update. All of those are useful where you want to just bookmark a thread without getting loads of emails. Having said that with the default instant notification, you only get one email unless you revisit the thread

You can also do that with a particular forum area. I have chosen to get a daily email update from the sample databases & code repository areas. Unfortunately it only tells me new posts - not replied to older threads ... so I still have to do periodic searches as not everyone reports their own posts as requested

5. Rating threads is I believe designed to indicate to others which threads may be particularly useful (or particularly bad…). I know of no way of searching for those I’ve marked in the past. It seems that a number of people need to rate a thread before the average star ranking is displayed. I suppose that is intended to help ensure fairness.

6. Inserting in line images is indeed a multistage process both here and at all the other Access forums I use. It would of course be wonderful to be able to drag & drop images – I suspect that it isn’t possible with the forum software currently in use. Hopefully the site owner will join this discussion

Once again, I think SO is the worst for any kind of attachment.
The AWF system isn’t in my opinion that difficult once you get used to it ….but I don’t follow how you are trying to do it. There is no reason to type the [IMG] tag – use the image button on the advanced toolbar

After uploading an image, I right click on it and click Copy Link Address. I then click the image button and paste the address into the required location in my answer. Job done!

There was an enigmatic exchange between yourself & the DBGuy about inline images where you both discussed doing so by ‘cheating’. See How to add inline images
I’ve no idea what ‘cheating’ means in this context. Unfortunately, neither of you explained what you were talking about.

7. It can indeed be difficult to know who people are responding to in lengthy threads with multiple participants. However, if you click on Display Modes, you can choose Threaded, Hybrid or Linear mode. Have a look at the alternatives.

I often state who I'm replying to if I think it isn't obvious.

FWIW one of my main issues with this site is the inability to add images or attachments to private messages.
I did raise this last August but got no response – see Attachments in private messages

Anyway I've gone on far too long. If you reached the end, thank you for your time!
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Last edited by isladogs; 03-31-2019 at 05:24 AM.
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Old 03-30-2019, 12:36 PM   #7
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Re: Random Suggestions

>>>The problem that's suffering me the most is the poor quality of search function<<<

Well as I explained to you in the thread that you highlighted where you first mentioned the problem with searching, the best way is to use Google. I provided a link. All you need do is add it to your bookmark bar or somewhere, and anytime you want to search access world forums just click on it.

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Old 03-31-2019, 11:54 AM   #8
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Re: Random Suggestions

Well it appears whilst my search syntax does work, you are meant to put the word before the site: word.?

https://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=253432
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Old 03-31-2019, 09:18 PM   #9
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Re: Random Suggestions

Hi isladogs
and thanks for taking your time and replying in details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isladogs View Post
Hi Tera
You’re a member of over 30 forums! I can’t even name that many!
Well I haven't introduced myself yet. I will do it in its appropriate thread as soon as I can. For now in short, Our family was never wealthy enough to let me go to university. I've self-trained myself in every steps of my life up to today. As a teenager I was interested in PCs, then software. I had to continue my job as a mold designer which needed a lot of information about machining, Lathe, frieze etc. Then I shifted to NC programming, 3D Cad engineer, Lazer and Tallet Punch machines. Later I had a chance to start programming in VBA and C as a part of my job. Then administrating our company's domain and now a system engineer. In each step of these curves in my life, I had to read thousands of pages of books, help files and manuals and ask questions that appeared one after another. And always, I was lucky enough to find people like you and others in this forum to share their knowledge. That's why I'm still a part of all those forums and peek every now and then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isladogs View Post
There is a newer version available, but the site owner decided against upgrading. Whether that’s to do with cost or feature set I don’t know. Perhaps if there were more paying members he might be more willing to upgrade?
phpBB, CODOFORUM, Flarum are the top free php forums. They are absolutely free of charge and can be updated with every minor or major upgrade.
On a side note, There was a time I was programming php for about 6 years. It's a very user friendly language and anyone with a little knowledge of programming can edit the script to fit the site's needs. I don't know VBulletin allows editing it's script or not, but it's allowed in the free scripts I named above. You can have a look at the latest version of phpBB here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isladogs View Post
However, I find the advanced search feature generally works well. The features in the advanced search are almost identical in several other forums I use. Maybe I’ve just got used to it, but I can’t think of a forum which has a better search feature.
I doubt it. See here:











I searched with double quotes "Excel In Access". The result was worse.


Quote:
Originally Posted by isladogs View Post
The site owner is strongly opposed to doing so on the basis that other responses may be disregarded but be of at least equal value. I have since come to accept that viewpoint. However there is absolutely no reason why any OP cannot clearly indicate the post they found most useful
Well if the owner thinks this way I can say nothing more. but I was thinking:
You have a problem. You receive 10 possible suggestions. You choose one and accept it.
I have the same problem. I search for it. I find the same thread. Which one is better for me?
1- To find out which suggestion you used?
2- Or not to understand which one you chose?
Does it have any harm if I know which one you chose?
The other suggestions maybe valuable too. But it would be a great help for me if I can easily see which one you chose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isladogs View Post
I understand your viewpoint about marking a particular solution as the ‘correct answer’ and indeed suggested it myself some time ago. The site owner is strongly opposed to doing so on the basis that other responses may be disregarded but be of at least equal value. I have since come to accept that viewpoint. However there is absolutely no reason why any OP cannot clearly indicate the post they found most useful
Well, I think it's clear enough. If there was a button as Correct Answer bellow each reply, we would click it. Simple as that. But going through the steps to edit our own first post and add which one was useful is not a shortcut. So most of us don't take that route. Even though we have to or we better to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isladogs View Post
For info, when you subscribe to a thread you can choose not to get instant email notification. Other options are no emails, daily update and weekly update. All of those are useful where you want to just bookmark a thread without getting loads of emails. Having said that with the default instant notification, you only get one email unless you revisit the thread
Thanks for this info. I'll try to see how can I make it work for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isladogs View Post
6. Inserting in line images is indeed a multistage process both here and at all the other Access forums I use.
.....
.....
but I don’t follow how you are trying to do it.
.....
.....
There was an enigmatic exchange between yourself & the DBGuy about inline images where you both discussed doing so by ‘cheating’. See How to add inline images
I’ve no idea what ‘cheating’ means in this context. Unfortunately, neither of you explained what you were talking about.
For the first part, it's what I was talking about in my first post. It's inconvenient. The old-fashioned method. You can do a task with one click or with 10. Which one do you prefer?
How I desire to do it? A simple and fast method.
Drag and drop. Impossible? Then the same as other forum a button that when I click it asks me to select a file from my PC, uploads it and insert the necessary inline image code for me.

There was nothing serious about "Cheating" in my previous chat with DBGuy. When a forum doesn't insert in-line messages for us, and we go around a sequence of steps to insert an image, as you explained above, it seems that we are going behind rules. We just used the word "Cheating" for a laugh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isladogs View Post
However, if you click on Display Modes, you can choose Threaded, Hybrid or Linear mode. Have a look at the alternatives.
I already have. It doesn't re-orders the post in a continues way that show's who is answering whom. I find it difficult to explain what it's like. Maybe because English is my third language. But I try my best.

This reply is an answer to your previous reply which was the answer to my first post. In any four possible methods, you can't show them continuously and one after the other. One who is interested in the talk between me and you most scroll and jump between the responses and find the target post which was replied to.

This reply, to your reply will be shown at the end of discussion. But in the image I posted above, they are shown continuously. Just like a C# or xml code in a correct editor which shows a + sign at the left hand and you can click it to collapse or expand it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isladogs View Post
I often state who I'm replying to if I think it isn't obvious.
Yes, I Know. and I have to scroll up to find what was his post. And read it. and scroll down again to your post and read on-word. Then after several post he has answered to your post. and between your answers and replies, are me and DBGuy's answers and replies. Which ends up reading several conversation at the same time which are mixed up. Don't you think it's much reasonable to show each one of these answers and replies in a group which appears one after another continuously and to make it obvious is indented.
And when somebody is interested in these replies and posts between me and you regarding the question or problem there was no need to jump up and down.
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Last edited by Tera; 03-31-2019 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 03-31-2019, 09:46 PM   #10
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Re: Random Suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Gizmo View Post
>>>The problem that's suffering me the most is the poor quality of search function<<<

Well as I explained to you in the thread that you highlighted where you first mentioned the problem with searching, the best way is to use Google.
And I accepted and am doing the same now.
But don't forget. You can use this method as long as you know what you are looking for. But when you want to search a specific forum for something that you're not sure about, you're hitting the wall.
How do you search Tables sub forum using google?
Try to search for select sql statement vba in google for AWF. It brings up more than 2600 result. Now make a coffee for yourself and take your time to find what you're looking for.

Last edited by Tera; 03-31-2019 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 03-31-2019, 11:08 PM   #11
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Re: Random Suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tera View Post
But don't forget. You can use this method as long as you know what you are looking for.
I don't think there are any search engines that can solve that particular problem.

I did cover that problem in my blog, and basically that's the beauty of the forum. If you cannot find what you are looking for it is often because you don't know the correct search term.

If you suspect that you are searching for the wrong search term, then post a message in a forum and I'm pretty sure someone will be able to steer you in the right direction.

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Old 03-31-2019, 11:53 PM   #12
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Re: Random Suggestions

FWIW, this is what I got searching titles for Excel Access in threads started by UG.
I chose that because you knew both the title and the author of the thread
I always omit common words like 'in' in any search whether in a forum or using Google



NOTE: The deleted thread in the list should only be visible to mods and site admins
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Old 04-01-2019, 06:17 AM   #13
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Re: Random Suggestions

Tera, I will add this viewpoint: While often someone is asking "which property controls thus-and-such" it is more often a high-level "how do I wind the cat and put out the clock?" And for the latter question, there may well be NO right answer.

Everyone's cat and clock are potentially different and we don't know which method works in the context of the company or country. So the right answer for how to handle something for a mom-and-pop shop is different from the answer to the same question for the U.S. Navy. I've worked for both (though not as an Access user for both). The wildly variable nature of human-directed programming means we might never be able to decide which method is optimum until we actually know the full details of the problem and its environment. For obvious reasons, that won't happen.

Having a "correct answer" button is fine, but the TRUTH of this forum is that often the person asking the question DOESN'T come back and bother to close the thread with the "SOLVED" marker. So why bother with yet another button that they probably won't use either. The ones that DO come back will POST a comment about how it was solved. The ones that don't do that much probably wouldn't have come back to click the "CORRECT ANSWER" button either. Some people see me as cynical, but if you have been with the forum as long as I have, you learn to not be bothered by people abandoning their own threads.

I sense in you the trait that you wouldn't abandon a thread so lightly, and that is good. But others? Not so much.

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