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Forum Help and "How To's"

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:23 am

Set or change your avatar

You can upload your own avatar (150x150 or less) or you can choose one from the Gallery.

To upload your own avatar, just follow these steps:

This is what it looks like in the "prosilver" style:
SetAvatarStepsSmall.png
How to set or change your avatar (prosilver)
SetAvatarStepsSmall.png (91.57 KiB) Viewed 5431 times

This is what it looks like in the "XSilver" style:
set_avatar_xsilver_3.png
How to set or change your avatar (XSilver)
set_avatar_xsilver_3.png (123.76 KiB) Viewed 5338 times

If you don't have your own avatar to upload, you can select one from the Gallery by using the "Display Gallery" button (next to the "Reset" and "Submit" buttons in those pictures). The Gallery allows you to choose a category (like "Generic Gliders" or "Moyes" or "WillsWing) and then select an avatar from the choices in that category. Just push "Submit" and you're done.

If you're still using the default "blue check mark" avatar ... it's time to "up" your game a bit!!!    :thumbup:
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View Active (Hot) Topics

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:11 pm

View Active (Hot) Topics

I've added a new "Hot" button which lists the most active topics on the entire forum. It's a short cut to a button that already exists under the "Options" drop down, but I wanted to give it more prominence. Here's what it looks like:

Hot_Topics.png
Hot Topics Button
Hot_Topics.png (39.46 KiB) Viewed 5341 times

For some reason, that button does not appear on all pages, but fortunately, it's most useful on the home page when people first visit the site and want to see what's been happening lately. If you are buried in some other forum and want to see the active topics, you can always go to the home page ("Home" or sometimes "Board index") and then click on the "Hot" button.

I hope this is useful, and please send me a Private Message (PM) if you have any comments.

Thanks.
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
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Choosing a Forum Style for YOUR Club

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:19 am

Choosing a Forum Style for YOUR Club

Clubs often use different forum styles so each club has its own look and feel. The current phpBB forum styles are available at: https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/style/prosilver/demo/3.0. When you go to that page, you'll see a gray "Select a style" box that will let you choose from the styles available.

It's generally good to choose a style that scales (changes width) as your browser's window is resized. That ensures that it will look good on everyone's monitor regardless of their screen resolution. So try resizing your browser window when you're looking at each style to see how well the forum resizes itself. Some styles are fixed width, and I've been able to make them variable by editing the code. But that's a bit of work, so it's best to pick a style that scales well "out of the box".

Here are just a few examples from that site:

    https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/style/aktif/demo/3.0
    https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/style/visio/demo/3.0
    https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/style/lucid_lime/demo/3.0
    https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/style/ca_orbital/demo/3.0
    https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/style/graand_%28red%29/demo/3.0
    https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/style/simplicity_2/demo/3.0
    https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/style/oxygen/demo/3.0
    https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/style/buziness_board/demo/3.0
    https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/style/goal/demo/3.0


Go ahead and have fun browsing through those different styles to find one you like for your club. :thumbup:
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
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Posting Photos

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:02 am

Posting Photos

Here's the basics for posting a picture to the forum:

Start by finding the "Upload attachment" button (usually below the posting window on most forum pages).
uploading_001.png
uploading_001.png (23.5 KiB) Viewed 5186 times


Click on the "Upload attachment button" (gray in the photo above), and that will open up a place for you to type in the name of your file (on your own computer). You can type it in directly (full path and all), but it's usually easier to use the "Browse" button to navigate to the location of your file:
uploading_002.png
uploading_002.png (34.95 KiB) Viewed 5186 times


That will bring up a navigation window (it might look different on your browser). You can use that window to find the file that you want to upload. When you've found it, click "Open" (or a similar button on your browser).
uploading_003.png
uploading_003.png (26.11 KiB) Viewed 5186 times


That will bring you back to the main window:
uploading_002.png
uploading_002.png (34.95 KiB) Viewed 5186 times


That's where you click on the blue "Add the file" button. That should add it to your list of "Posted attachments" below your posting window. Each attachment there usually has two buttons ("Place inline" and "Delete file"). If you want to put the picture into your text (as I've done above), just click on where you want it to go, and then push the "Place inline" button and it will insert some code (square brackets with "attachment" tags) where the picture will end up. When you press the "Submit" button, your photos should be in your post!!
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
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"History is never recorded by truth never told." - Warren ("Free")
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Nominations

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Wed May 15, 2013 8:16 pm

Making Nominations

We're experimenting with using this forum to make nominations and cast votes. This post is specifically about making nominations.

In order for our software to find nominations among other text that you might post, you should place your nominations between the [nominate] and [/nominate] tags.

So to nominate several hang gliders (maybe for hang glider of the year?) you might use something like this in the edit window:

    I'd like to nominate:                        
        [nominate]Wills Wing Falcon[/nominate]   
        [nominate]Northwing Freedom[/nominate]   
        [nominate]Moyes Litespeed RX[/nominate]  


That will show up like this in your post:

    I'd like to nominate:
          Wills Wing Falcon  
          Northwing Freedom  
          Moyes Litespeed RX  

More importantly than how it looks, using the [nominate] and [/nominate] tags will allow software to read the page and build the list of nominations automatically. This will save work, reduce errors (hopefully), and speed up our nomination and voting processes.
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
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"History is never recorded by truth never told." - Warren ("Free")
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Casting Votes

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Wed May 15, 2013 8:36 pm

Casting Votes

We're experimenting with using this forum to make nominations and cast votes. This post is specifically about casting votes.

In order for our software to find votes among other text that you might post, you should place your nominations between the [vote] and [/vote] tags.

Our voting will usually be conducted as a list of choices that you will put in order from your most favorite (on the left) to your least favorite (on the right). You will be given a list of choices with numbers (or possibly letters) in front of them, and you'll use those numbers (or letters) to list your preferences.

As an example, lets say that we've got a list of gliders that you might choose from for some kind of vote (maybe hang glider of the year?). Here's the list:

    1. Wills Wing Sport 2
    2. Northwing Freedom
    3. Moyes Lightspeed
    4. Wills Wing Falcon
    5. Northwing Liberty
    6. Moyes Malibu

Depending on your preferences, you might put the Falcon first, Malibu second, Freedom third, Sport 2 fourth, Liberty fifth, and Lightspeed last. If that were your ordering, then you would list them like this for your vote:
    
  4 6 2 1 5 3  

To turn that into an actual vote for the forum, you just need to surround it with the [vote] and [/vote] tags like this:
    
[vote]  4 6 2 1 5 3  [/vote]

You can put that right into the post along with any comments you want to make about your vote. So here's what it might look like when you're editing your post to vote:

    Hi Everyone. Here's my vote:      
        [vote]  4 6 2 1 5 3  [/vote]  
    May the best glider win!!         


When you save your post, it will end up looking something like this in the forum:

    Hi Everyone. Here's my vote:

          4 6 2 1 5 3  

    May the best glider win!!

More importantly than how it looks, using the [vote] and [/vote] tags will allow software to read the page and tally the votes automatically. This will save work, reduce errors (hopefully), and speed up our voting processes.

With regard to the votes themselves, our currently proposed system requires you to put your choices in order (separated by spaces), but if you have a few that you feel are the same, then you can use the equal sign between them. So if I like choice C best, B second best, and I think D and A are about the same, and E is worst, I might vote like this:

      C B D=A E  

Also, any choices that you don't list will be assumed to be equal to each other and at the end of the list. So if a particular vote has letter choices from A to M, then you might vote like this:

      C B J=A L M  

That would be identical to specifying the rest as all being equal and less favorable than M:

      C B J=A L M D=E=F=G=H=I=K  

So the voting system will treat both ballots the same.
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
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Messages not Posting

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:56 am

HELP ... My message didn't post and I lost all my editing!!!

We've been noticing a problem with posting to the forum where the "Submit" button takes you right back to the topic page (without the post confirmation screen) and all of your edits have been lost. So far that's been reported by both Sam and myself. I'm not sure if it's a server delay/time-out issue or if something else is going on, but we do have a temporary work-around.

If you click the "Submit" button and you don't see the "This message has been posted successfully" screen, immediately press your browser's "back" button and then submit it again. Repeat this until you get the "This message has been posted successfully" screen which confirms that your message has actually been posted. Here's what that screen should look like:

Post_Submitted.png
Post_Submitted.png (25.6 KiB) Viewed 4563 times


I apologize for this inconvenience, and I'll be looking for solutions in the near future.
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
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Marking Forums as Read

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:43 am

Marking Forums as having been read

This tip is very helpful for new people signing up on the forum. The US Hawks forum has thousands of posts and topics as well as many sub-forums. It would be difficult (if not impossible) to keep up with what you've already read if the forum didn't help out. So the forum has a way of keeping track of which topics you've read and which ones you haven't read (where "read" means that your browser has visited that page). Each forum style may have a different way of showing this (typically a different icon - see picture below), but they all operate the same way. Once you've read a topic (or forum), that topic/forum will be marked as having been read. It will show the "already read" icon. It will continue to show the "already read" icon until a new post is added. At that point it will show the "unread posts" icon until you again visit all of the posts/topics that haven't already been viewed in that topic/forum.

This works great once you're all caught up with the forum, and it really helps to keep up with what's going on. However, when you first join the forum, you'll find that every single topic in every single forum is "unread" by you. This means that all of the forums will always show "unread posts" until you've viewed every single topic in that forum ... which you may never want to do. That will make it harder to see - at a glance - when new posts are added. So the forum gives you the ability - at any time - to mark all the topics in a forum as already having been read (whether you've actually read them or not) so that you'll be able to easily spot new topics and posts as they're added.

So as a new forum member, you basically have two choices. You can:

    A. Leave everything marked as "unread" as you work your way through all the topics.
    B. Mark everything as "read" so you'll just be alerted to new topics that you haven't read.

The choice is up to you, and this post is just to let you know how to do it. You can mark all forums (and topics) as "being read" by clicking the link shown as "Mark forums read" shown below.

unread_tip.png
unread_tip.png (104.44 KiB) Viewed 4247 times


Once you do this, all of the forums and topics will be marked as if you had read them, so new posts (new to you) will be highlighted and easily distinguished from those that you've either read or marked as having been read. Please note that I believe this is irreversible. So if you decide you'd rather keep track of what's new than worry about tracking what you've already read, then this option will help. But if you want to be sure you know what you've read in the entire US Hawks forum, then don't use this option.
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
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BBCode Primer

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:07 am

BBCode Primer

The US Hawks Forum uses phpBB software which recognizes a variety of pre-defined and user-defined BBCode "tags". These tags allow you to change the look of your text (size, color, style, etc) and support other useful features (lists, quoting, links, YouTube videos, voting, etc). This post introduces many of these tags and shows you how to use them.

Almost all BBCode tags are used in pairs consisting of a "starting" (or "opening") tag and an "ending" (or "closing") tag. You type in the tags (or insert them via buttons) when you edit the text of your post. Then you can see their effects (size, color, quoting, etc) when you view (or preview) your post.

Here's a simple example using the "bold" tag "b". You type this into your post when you're editing it:

This sentence [b]uses bold text[/b] to demonstrate the [b]bold[/b] tag.


Then you'll see this when you view your post:

This sentence uses bold text to demonstrate the bold tag.


You'll notice that the bolding starts (is "turned on") immediately after the opening bold tag: [b]. The bold stays on until it's turned off by the closing bold tag: [/b]. You can see that bolding is turned on and off surrounding the phrase "uses bold text", so that's why it's displayed as bold. You can also see that bolding is turned on and off again around the word "bold".

Please study that example until you understand it because it's the basis of all BBCode tags. The rest of this introduction demonstrates some of the tags you can use in your posts.


Simple Formatting Tags:

You enter these tags into your post:
This sentence [b]uses bold text[/b] to demonstrate the [b]bold[/b] tag.
This sentence [i]uses italic text[/i] to demonstrate the [i]italic[/i] tag.
This sentence [u]uses underlined text[/u] to demonstrate the [u]underline[/u] tag.


Then you get these results:
This sentence uses bold text to demonstrate the bold tag.
This sentence uses italic text to demonstrate the italic tag.
This sentence uses underline text to demonstrate the underline tag.


You can also combine tags to get combinations:

This sentence uses [u][i]underlined italic text[/i][/u] to demonstrate combining tags.


That combination of tags gives underlined and italic text:
This sentence uses underlined italic text to demonstrate combining tags.


Note that you open and close them in "nested" order. In other words, if you open with the "u" tag before the "i" tag, then you should close the "i" tag before closing the "u" tag.

Quotes:

Quoting text is most easily done in one big chunk when you use the "Quote" button to respond to someone's post. In that case you'll find the entire original post contained within an opening quote tag [quote] and a closing quote tag [/quote]. You can leave it like that, or use the opening and closing tags to interleave your own comments with the quote.

Here's an example of what you might type:

First you said:

[quote]I like single surface hang gliders better than double-surface.[/quote]

But then you contradicted yourself by saying:

[quote]I generally prefer flying single surface gliders over any other kind.[/quote]

Which is it?


Here's what that looks like in your post:

First you said:

I like single surface hang gliders better than double-surface.


But then you contradicted yourself by saying:

I generally prefer flying single surface gliders over any other kind.


Which is it?


You can also include the name of the quoted person in the quote:

[quote="Benjamin Franklin"]A penny saved is a penny earned.[/quote]


That will produce a quote that looks like this:

Benjamin Franklin wrote:A penny saved is a penny earned.


Lists:

Lists are a bit complicated because they require two kinds of tags - one for the whole list, and one for each item in the list. The tag used to create the entire list is either just [list] (for unordered or bulleted lists) or [list=1] (for lists that start with a number). The tag used at the start of each element in the list is [*]. Note that the [*] tag is one of the few tags that doesn't need a closing tag.

Here's how you might create an unordered (or "bulleted") list:

[list]
[*]Single surface hang glider
[*]Double surface hang glider
[*]Paraglider
[/list]


Here's what it looks like:

  • Single surface hang glider
  • Double surface hang glider
  • Paraglider


If you want a numbered list starting at 1, then include the "=1" within the opening list quote:

[list=1]
[*]Single surface hang glider
[*]Double surface hang glider
[*]Paraglider
[/list]


And here's what it looks like:

  1. Single surface hang glider
  2. Double surface hang glider
  3. Paraglider


Links:

Sometimes you can embed links into your posts by just entering them as regular text:

http://ushawks.org

Depending on the text, the phpBB software might recognize it as a web site address (also known as a "URL"). But if you want to be sure, it's a good idea to use the "url" tag around the address like this:

[url]http://ushawks.org[/url]


That produces a link that looks like this:



If you want to use different text for the link (other than the URL itself) you can put the URL itself in the URL tag and put the text you want to display between the opening and closing "URL" tags. Here's how to do that:

You should visit [url=http://ushawks.org]the greatest hang gliding association in the world[/url] and sign up now!!


That produces a link that looks like this:

You should visit the greatest hang gliding association in the world and sign up now!!


I generally make links bold by adding the [b] tag

You should visit [b][url=http://ushawks.org]the greatest hang gliding association in the world[/url][/b] and sign up now!!


That produces a link that looks like this:

You should visit the greatest hang gliding association in the world and sign up now!!


If you click that link (or sometimes hover over it) you'll see that it leads to http://ushawks.org.
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
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Looking up Member Names when sending PM messages

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:07 am

Looking up Member Names

You can use asterisks (*) to substitute for parts of names that you don't know in the "Find a member" search. For example, if you know a member whose "legal" name is "William", but you can't remember if he's registered as "William", or "Will", or "Bill", or "Billy", or "Willy", then you can use asterisks as "wild cards" for the parts you don't know. In all of those cases, the string "ill" is part of the name. So you can use a wild card before and after the "ill" part. Let's try it:

In the search string type:

      *ill*        


That will bring up:

    BlillRizBek
    TomLilledahl
    GoIllini
    Bill Cummings
    BillT
    ASitoslillok
    killirs
    WillFly
    TomPhillips
    DaveGills
    billayers
    Hgwilly
    Tcraftkilleen
    willflyformoney

Many of those are probably fake people (spammers), so you can further reduce the list by also selecting the "Approved Users" group in the "Group" selector and then search again. That further reduces it to:

    TomLilledahl
    GoIllini
    Bill Cummings
    WillFly
    TomPhillips
    Hgwilly

There are many other search options, and you can experiment with them (and with combinations) to see how they work. Give it a try!!
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
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