Orchard Forums: Where are we?

Tags: forums

One of the most requested features on the Orchard User Voice is a Forum module. Internet forums in the conventional sense is just a discussion site where people can post a question, receive an answer or merely to strike up a conversation.

Forums have a large and varied vocabulary which can be very confusing to a user, i.e. a Thread can be referred to as a Topic, A Post maybe a Reply, so on a so forth. For the Orchard Forums module I have used this vocabulary.

  • Forum: A board to start your journey i.e. Asking a question or striking up a conversation. These contain a collection of Threads.
  • Thread: A collection of Posts.
  • Post: A user submitted message.

I am going to walk through below how to get started.. but first you need to clone the Repo at orchardforums.codeplex.com (Make sure the Directory name is NGM.Forum)

Enable Feature

To start seeing the Forums module you need to enable the Forums feature FYI: This demo is done in ThemeMachine and is not styled.

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Create Forum

Once installed there will be a Forums button on the Admin menu. Click that to create a Forum. image

Now lets create a new forum. In my demo below I am creating a Discussions Forum.

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Hit save and Vola… You have just created a Discussions Forum. (Obviously with no threads…)

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Going to the permalink that has been generated through the AutoRoutePart… in this case http://localhost:30320/OrchardLocal/discussions you will find your self at the UI for the users to interact with.

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Create Thread

Now let now create a Thread.

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There are a few things to note on this page.

  1. Categories and Tags. These are delivered though the Taxonomies module.
  2. The Permalink and Home page button. These are there by default when you create/edit a Thread. You can remove them with the Placement.info file in your theme.
  3. Where is my Rich Text Editor? I am NOT using the BodyPart for Posts. Instead I have implemented my own version of what BodyPart does because it does not cater to the needs to anything outside of the Admin Screens.. i.e. Media Management. So How can I have a Rich Text Editor? Implement one.. Just copy the code from TinyMCE. I have added a flavor to the part so creating your own is easy.

Now hit Save….

Moderation

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By default all users are moderated. This is done two fold.

  1. A Part called UserForumPart: This is a part that is attached directly to the user.

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  2. ApproveUnapprove Permission: Allows a user in a role to approve or un-approve Posts and threads.

    To Approve or un-approve Posts and Threads you need access to the admin screens, so head to your admin screens and click on ‘Manage Forumimage

Here you have a Thread awaiting approval. A Thread or Post can live in 3 states.

  1. Approved: Content is okay. image

2. Awaiting Approval: Content needs to be reviewed

3. Not Approved: Content is Rejected. image

In this case I will approve. You can now see your thread on the front screen.

View / Reply Post

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A few things to note from the screen above. 1. You have the taxonomies being displayed. 2. Quick reply. This is the edit box displayed. The Forums module DOES support multithreaded posts, but have not implemented from a UI perspective.

Okay so that is the end of this demo. Please clone the Repo at orchardforums.codeplex.com

But Nick, Functionality is starting to come together… but where is the theming!?

Hold on there busta!, So I have been speaking with Ryan Drew Burnett around the theming side of things, and he has produced the first mock up of a themed Orchard Forums… Check it out! (I think is look great!)

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CORRECTION: Fixing naming of folder form NGM.Forums to NGM.Forum (Thanks Volody)

12 Comments

  • Rick said

    Hey!

    When I install the forums module, it doesn't show up in the left navigation of the administration area. What am I doing wrong? I'm using Orchard 1.6

    Would be awesome if you could reply, because I really need a forum! :)

  • Damir said

    Great stuff, finally something really good on forum front ;)

    And that styling is also really nice.

    Well done everyone involved, it'll be a pleasure to get i installed and test it.

    Now, if everything goes well, we can start putting together some kind of import functionality so we can start converting all those ugly old community sites to Orchard based communities.

    Oh, btw... While I'm at it... Is there a possibility to include some kind of @mention script (like the one at: https://github.com/podio/jquery-mentions-input) with functions for mentioning both @users and #tags. Now that'd be really cool and practical to have out of the box...

    Again, great work guys (and gals?) this is what make Orchard so good :)

    Have a good one,
    Damir

  • volody said

    Looks realy promising

    Just was trying to install forum on 1.6 version but does not show in admin menu. Not sure how to push it to work

  • Ivan said

    Forum? come on. not now! far away from it. the upgrade of .net framework 4.5 crashed all my websites. please do some decent work on the upgrade n house management before going any further.

  • Mirko said

    Have the same problem as rick mentioned before. And yes i need a forum to ;)

    I cloned today Orchard 1.6 and also NGM.Forums...

  • admin said

    Hmm It seems that a'lot of people are getting the issue that once installed it does not show in their menu, I cannot reproduce locally.

    It may be due to the act that I have the tip of taxonomies installed. I will check and get back to you.

  • volody said

    Hi Nicolas,

    You have made a typo in your instruction.

    Instead of (Make sure the Directory name is NGM.Forums)

    You should have
    (Make sure the Directory name is NGM.Forum)

    I made it working with Orchard 1.6 by taking latest code

  • Tony said

    Hi Nick, Im having the same problem. It does not show in the admin menu. Using orchard 1.6.

  • Tony said

    You are a star volody! I got it working by renaming the directory.

    Great work Nick!

  • Mirko said

    the renaming of the folder was one step for me to bring it to life. Additionally after i added Voting and Taxonomy via orchard dashboard i build the two modules in visual studio.

  • admin said

    @Volody - Thanks I have update the post accordingly.

    @Ivan - Sorry you are having problems, but niether Orchard not my forums module uses .net 4.5

    @Tony - Great you got it running. Let me know what you think. I have just pushed sticky threads.

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