A comprehensive guide on how to make a forum system in XPOR.
Forums are a structured way to allow your users to converse and interact with each other about topics, in a way that you can manage. If you have used a forum (or message board) before then you may be familiar with some of the terms and structure.
XPOR has the following tools that you will need (which are explained in the following sections):
It sounds like you need a lot to get started, but each of these object types are connected by the simple parent/child association. It might help to think of these objects as 'within' or 'below' each other. With that in mind, let's start at the 'top'!
To start you will need to create a Forums Board Object. If you only intend to have one forum then you will only need one of these. If you have lots of different websites then you may want multiple forums. Perhaps you'd have a Forum board just for your Executive Committee, and then another forum board for your customers/users.
Create your Forums Board Object and then move to the 'Settings' tab.
Hot topics posts per day - How many topics per day can be Hot topics
System Email Address - Enter your system email address
All Members Group - Select your group of Forum users
Holding Group - The group whose access to the forum is pending approval.
This section allows you to control if (and how often) your users get notified about your forum updates.
Notifications Enabled - Tick this if you want your Forum users to get notifications.
Frequency - Drop down select how often users should get a notification.
Day of the Week , Day of the Month, and Time of Day allow you to accurately decide when the notifications go out.
Notification Email - Here you can select an email object that you have made yourself to be the notification email.
This section follows on from the Notifications section above, so you can customise what emails are sent out when specific Forum events occur such as watched topics or new comments. Just select an email object or type in the object ID.
Here you will find a HTML field where you can input your own Terms and Conditions of use for your Forum.
In the ranks tab you can set a number of ranks users get for using the forums e.g. bronze, silver and gold for 5, 25 and 125 posts respectively.
Just like with most things in life, it helps to organise and categorise. Forum Categories help give a bit of structure, especialy in a large and varied forum. The minimum you will need is one Forum Category Object.
Create your Forums Board Object as a child of the Forums Board, and give it a name. You can also upload an image.
Now for why we're here - Forums! Createa a Forum object as a child of a Forum Category.
Now, to the Options tab!
Require Moderation on Messages - Tick this to enable moderation. This means posts won't go live until you've moderated them - a useful tool if you're worried about content or what your users will say.
Allow Attachments on Messages - This will allow users to attach files to messages - this can be a useful tool but can also be abused, its up to you.
Display User Stats - This will show how many posts the user has made in the forum.
Enable Announcements - Enables users to set new topics as announcements
Enable Sticky Topics - Ticking this means you can mark a post as a 'sticky' post, which means it will always appear at the top. This is good for highlighting important topics, such as 'Welcome'/'FAQs', so that they are seen first.
The Forum Topic Object is created when a user creates a new topic in the front end of the website, however it can be created in the back end as well. When created this object collects the text and title of the topic which is locted in the Forum Topic Properties Tab. The current and previous versions of the topic are also stored in the versions tab.
The Forum Post object is created either when someone creates a new topic (where it is the first post) and whenever another person replies to the topic. All the information contained in the object is collected when the user creates it in the front end. However you can create these in the back end should you wish to.
The 3 key tabs for this object are these:
1. Post - This contains the text that was posted.
2. Post Details - This contains the Name, Organisation, Email and Website of the user that created the post (assuming these details have been filled out). It also shows who last modified the post and who deleted it if it has been deleted in the front end.
3. Attachments - This contains any files that were attached to the post.
Now that you have all the back end elements set up you can put the forum on your website. Once you have set an atom to be a Forum Atom you will be presented with this menu where you can configure the settings.
Root Object: This needs to be a Forum Board Object which will be the top level of the Forum.
My Profile Page: When a user wants to view their profile this is the page that they will be directed to.
Show Topics Legend: Shows the legend for each topic.
Show Breadcrumbs: Shows where the user has been in the forum so they can find their way back easily.
Show Latest Posts: Show the latest post of each topic.
1st Comment Length: Limits the length of the 1st comment, if -1 there is no limit and if 0 then the 1st comment will not be shown.
Paging: On this tab you can set the number of Forum topics, Support topics and Posts per page.
Once you have configured these your Forum Atom is ready to be used and the forum is complete.