Changes to Forum and Chatbox

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For some time now it has been clear that the Forum part of Audlem Online is generally underused, whereas the ChatBox facility is becoming ever more popular.

The webteam have decided therefore to merge the two together, creating a rather more sophisticated ChatBox procedure in the process.

So the "Forum" entry has been removed from the top menu line. The existing entries in the "Forum" list have been archived but will not be directly accessible from the website. We have copied the only two recent entries (which refer to the vote poll about the toilets) into the new ChatBox format.

Each new entry to the ChatBox will have a subject title — this can be selected from a dropdown list of subjects from previous ChatBox entries or can be entered as something completely new. This will allow for logical sequences for ChatBox entries (rather like the Forum) which can easily be separated out when required.

We want to allow readers to put up new ChatBox entries with the minimum of fuss but at the same time give some protection to contributors to avoid having their names copied by others. So when an item is put up on the ChatBox, the author will have the opportunity (if they wish) to "register" a nickname and associated password. Then future postings using that name will have to have this password attached, so that the nickname cannot be used by anyone else. Entries can still be made as "anon" (or using an unprotected nickname) where preferred.

Individual ChatBox entries will be limited to 1000 characters, nicknames to 18 characters and subject titles to 35 characters.

When the ChatBox page is loaded, title lines for the 15 most recent ChatBox entries will be displayed, showing their date, author nickname and subject. Clicking on any of these lines will show the full text for that message. There will also be a dropdown list of the dozen most recent subjects, and if one of these is selected, then only the ChatBox entries for that subject will be displayed.

We hope that authors and users like the new format, but please let us know of any problems or suggestions about it.


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