The forum update has been a great step forward for the eco system. Though after using it for the last couple of weeks I still feel that it lacks in so many ways that I wonder if it will ever become good enough. To name some area's which I feel are sub par (This list is by no means complete):
For me a good enough solution would be something which comes close to the stackoverflow solution stack.
For a client we have recently implemented http://www.discourse.org/. It's build by the guys of stackoverflow and works great. Sure you will have allot of issues migrating to such a system but I wonder; Should you build your own forum which is not so good but flexible or should you use existing solutions which are great but less flexible...
Thanks for sharing your considerations which I understand. About your questions:
The problem that Marnix described is what I mean with Navigation and SEO. Have a look at this screengrab: https://www.dropbox.com/s/u09qz6ha1gtxy0l/Navigation_SEO.mov?dl=0. With SEO I mean that your manipulating the URL's, which does not play nice with the browser back and forward buttons. (Try to navigate to 5 posts and use the back/ forward buttons).
As far as the other points go, in my opinion the community is a major driver behind the whole mendix ecosystem. If you agree then let’s get it the best tools. As of now that is simply not the case.
I hope the upcoming releases will solve the biggest short comings. Good Luck!
Finding your own questions is a feature found here:
I agree that an option to subscribe to changes on your question would be a great addition to the forum.
I completely agree with Kim too. Recently I put my first question up on the forum and after that it took me about 3 minutes to find my own question back (had expected to have some 'my questions' option under my profile). Also, i just found out that people actually gave feedback on the question I asked, but you don't get notified or anything.. Expected to have some notifications menu in my profile for my own questions, but just had to accidentally found out that there were anwers. Conclusion: indeed a lot to improve here.
Also you should aim towards buiding the best forum and use that to exten mendix capabilities with it as well and make the components more open source. So even community can help it be better.
Thanks for the feedback! We’ve released the new Forum only recently, and are working hard on the next release with more features, based on the feedback we've received so far.
You can read about our plans to improve the search and implement email notifications at the end of my blog post here.
We did investigate discourse as a replacement for the old Forum, but we decided against it for multiple reasons. It is very focused on discussion threads with multiple pages of people conversing with each other, instead of questions with (accepted) answers as we use here. Next to that were a lot of technical challenges, like integrating our custom Mendix SSO, our events tracking (on which the point system is based), integration of the developer profile, migration of existing data (where do all the old accepted answers go when discourse doesn't support it?). We know the current Forum isn't perfect yet, but we are working hard to get there!
And could you be a bit more specific about what you would like to see changed? I’m not sure what you would like to see added to the comment system or what is wrong with the navigation.
And to everyone, if you find any issues like Marnix mentioned with the scroll behavior or refresh when writing a post, please do file a feedback ticket. I personally haven’t encountered these issues, but will definitely fix them if you let me know!
Honestly I think the forum is worse, I've had many times where I was scrolling down the forum and the load on scroll used just breaks the page and sends me back to the top or reloads the articles previously loaded.
Also I've had refreshes of my screen while I was typing a comment/post (including this comment this is the 3rd time i'm typing this.
But my biggest frustration is the interface.
45% is used for a header bar, leaving about 55% for forum content on initial load on smaller resolutions than 1200 px height
The dashboard is just a repetition of "ideas"/"questions", which automatically also duplicates those words in the screen and they almost have identical styling / weight in the visual hierarchy. It could have been just 3 lists next to each other, "Questions" "Ideas" "FAQ", no dashboard needed if you're gonna fill it like this.
Other than that I get to see my own face twice in the screen, the top right takes me to my Mendix account, the second time is just a bunch of statistics that are A: pointless B: none interactive C: don't change often D: All of these. This could have been easily merged in the page design in the top right corner. Make them clickable, add some drop downs to go back to my latest answers / questions / ideas etc.
Then there is a major section used to highlight the most contributing members of the Mendix forum / platform. And don't get me wrong the whole community aspect of the platform is one of the best things, but what is the use of this list if we cannot see the things they did contribute. How they acquired those points they have behind their name? If I don't know what they contribute I don't know what to be thankful for other than their "activeness".
I believe the forum has just been moved from an 'existing' less flexible system to a Mendix-based home grown system, which should be more flexible. I think it is a great improvement, so well done to Mendix for the changes.
It is not perfect, but being built in Mendix means that it can be modified quickly to address any issues or enhancement requests, so add your ideas for forum enhancements and vote up good ideas.
I completely agree with Kim. There is a lot to improve.