Planet PDF Forum: Software Update and Feature Modifications, Additions
Recent changes improve user experience in numerous ways

2 October 2002

By Kurt Foss, Planet PDF Editor

Attention Planet PDF Forum Members,

We recently installed a software (WebBoard) update for the Planet PDF Forum (forum.planetpdf.com), and now that we've gone public with it, we wanted to explain a few of the changes and enhancements.

First, you shouldn't encounter any major operational changes from the end user perspective, but you may notice some small differences in functionality. Hopefully they'll be perceived as improvements! One feature a number of users have asked for -- especially those active in the Developers and/or the JavaScript conference areas, topical discussion areas within the Planet PDF Forum -- is the ability to include source code accurately within a message. That should now be possible through the use of a special new tag (details below).

On the other hand, if you *do* run into problems -- something doesn't work the way it ideally should -- or uncertainties as to Forum logistics, please don't hesitate to let us know and we'll try to deal with it promptly, or to clarify the matter.

Some of the changes include:

  • A new WebBoard tag, <ESC> </ESC>, allows users to include HTML code in messages and have it appear as HTML. Without the escape tags, the HTML is processed by the forum software.

  • The Message Preview page includes a Cancel button, allowing users to cancel a message before posting it or cancel a spelling change without having to rely on their browser's Back button.

  • A Post button at the bottom of the Message Preview page allows the user to post the message after reading it, rather than having to scroll up to the top of the message.

  • Email participants can now obtain file attachments via a link to the attachment included in the email. [Below: attachment as viewed with Web browser access to Forum, TOP; attachment as viewed with email access to Forum, BOTTOM]
    Planet PDF Forum attach
    Planet PDF Forum attach email

  • Message editing now allows the user to remove file attachments. The person who posted the message can edit the message. Conference moderators, board managers, and administrators can also edit messages to delete attachments.

  • Message editing also allows users to replace attachments, by deleting the current attachment and adding a new one.

  • Those who choose to receive Forum messages via email -- functionality similar to a traditional email discussion lest -- now have several new capabilities that previously were available only via Web browser. Each distributed message now includes several links that allow one to interact with the Forum by email: to reply directly, to start a new topic, to log in to the Forum or to unsubscribe your email address from receiving messages within that topical conference.
    Planet PDF Forum email links

  • For emailed-in posts, the mailing list address now works if it exists anywhere in one of the header fields (i.e. To, CC:, or BCC:) - allowing for 'cross-posting' of messages to more than one group at a time.
    IMPORTANT: A word of caution on cross-posting -- Planet PDF strongly discourages multiple posts of the same message within different topical conference areas of the forum. Choose the ONE most relevant conference for your question and post ONLY in that area -- this allows others to more easily respond to and/or follow the thread. Duplicate posts will be deleted by the list administrators.

  • Improved speed: Several changes to the database and built-in server result in faster response to user requests.

  • WebBoard's frames interface for end users now meets the United States Government Web Accessibility Guidelines (Section 508).

  • Watch Lists allow users to receive email alerts when messages are posted to topics or conferences they are watching. Users can manage their watch lists through the Watch Lists option on the More Options menu.
    Planet PDF Forum Watch

  • All new messages in the Conferences tree are marked with the New icon (new.gif). When a conference or topic is fully expanded, each new message has the icon, rather than just the topic message.

  • A user can have WebBoard stop remembering his or her password by logging in again and deselecting the Remember My Password checkbox. This feature allows for a secure logoff on a cookie-based board.


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