As this turned out rather lengthy...
- make every topic starter give a keyword/category to the topic to find it back more easily
- make a categorized structure (maybe wiki) for scripts and examples instead of one, two flat forum sections
- make it possible to make a backup of the site
Firstly thanks for putting this new forum together! I hope it's going to be taken up by the community.
This discussion touches some points that always ticked me off on the old forum and many other code discussion forums, so I'm going to add my thoughts here.
The main point I was missing: Good, exhaustive search possibilities!
Some stuff on the old forum would be found by Google, some by the internal search function, some by both (and possibly some by neither?). Also for a lot of things there are many ways of putting a certain concept into words which makes finding stuff back with the word based search engines a lottery.
Given the size of the community and the number of posts, a brute force way of searching was mostly not an option either.
As a whole, finding the right stuff with the old forum format could be incredibly time consuming or even impossible.
To get around this it would be great to have two things imho:
- the requirement (let's face it, otherwise noone's gonna do it
to give every topic, optionally every post, one or more keywords that really characterize what it's about (e.g. Monitor, Mouse, Gui, Com, RegEx etc.), the finer the splitting, the better.
The list of keywords would have to be viewable as a whole and should be editable by mods to consolidate for synonyms, split categories etc. if needed. That way we could limit searches to posts having a number of relevant keywords, seriously cutting the time needed for searching and avoiding to miss stuff that is using a different word for something.
- touching on the above, a wiki or similar structure where examples, snippets and scripts and can be stored or at least linked back to the forum in a categorized manner in a complete form with all the libraries they may need.
I'm not talking about a hall of fame but something much broader. While I do see the benefit of a HoF, I'm looking at it more from a conservation of knowledge angle which would also allow people looking for fairly rare stuff to find things they're looking for.
Alibaba pointed out that we do have the "Scripts and Functions" section. But as the one on the old forum has 6000+ topics, I'd say a lot more categories are needed to find stuff in there that isn't there several times in different flavors already.
While it is certainly a bit quicker to post into a forum than to make a wiki page, I clearly do favor the wiki structure for a script library from a user point of view. But on the other hand, as sumon points out, integration into the forum and its search function would be very important.
A second point I am concerned about (especially in view of the current forum issues) is secure archiving and backup. As we have seen before when the issue with the tons of broken ahk.net links happened, the knowledge stored in these forums is incredibly fragile. So it would be great if there were a way for anyone to download regular snapshots of everything (as far as possible) so that in the event that the main driving people behind this forum loose interest or the time to deal with things or the hoster goes bankrupt, there would be a good chance, that the forum could be remade quickly by others without loosing anything.