Finishing up the main screens for the Forum wasn’t hard. Yes, that only took about a week.
But I’m the type who is a bit too much of a perfectionist. I saw too many little things that could be changed. And there were a number of differences between the Blog and the Forum that would be better if they were done the same. There were just too many loose ends to leave alone.
For example, there were a number of different views of the Forum that were available, but I saw a way to put them mostly on a single view allowing you to logically click on the headings to change the order. This required some custom programming, but was doable.
Then once you view a specific topic, you might want to see the previous or following topic. In the blog, I have a next and previous post button. WordPress supplies that functionality, but bbPress does not make this available. Figuring out properly what the next and previous topics are in bbPress is not easy. You have to do at least one, and maybe two new queries and have to know on the topic page which view you are looking at. I’m not sure if I’ll get this one in right now or not.
RSS feeds are another matter. Still a bit of work to do there. Neither WordPress nor bbPress does a great job of them.
The layout of the Search results from bbPress are nicer than those from WordPress. They summarize the results and bold the highlighted search term. But WordPress paginates the results nicely. So I picked the best out of both, redid the excerpt function so that words would not be broken and there would not be a “…” at the beginning or end of an excerpt if that wasn’t a continuation. I highlighted the words with a yellow background, highlighted each word (rather than just the first occurance of the phrase), and numbered and paginated the results. Now they both look nice, but I’m still left with the blog search searching only blog entries (not the comments) and the forum searching just the forum. I’ve still got to figure a way to integrate the two and include the comment search.
Then there’s all sorts of other little things. bbPress allows you to edit your post for up to 60 minutes after you enter it. I should be able to add this functionality into WordPress as well. Except that there isn’t an editing page for users in WordPress, so I’ll have to customize one.
So all of this work is a combination of me being too picky and wanting to get this working as well as possible before I go back to Behold. But no matter how much more I decide to customize, the movement of my Forum to bbPress will be great for the future, since the mySQL database will have a much higher capacity than my former Access database did.
So now I’ll try to first finish up what needs to be done to make the Forum live again ASAP. Then I’ll clean up some of the picky details.