At last, I'm happy to announce the Code Sorcery Workshop support forums! These forums will gradually become the official support channel for our Mac products Meerkat and Pukka, as well as a place to discuss what's on your mind with regard to our website, potential future products, our services, or happenings in the Mac & Drupal communities.
The forums have been open for a week or two in unannounced form, but have quite expectedly not garnered much activity, so consider this the official "word". Feel free to go to it!
We are using Drupal for the forum solution, which is what is used for the rest of the website as well. I'd like to take a moment to go over some of the features that this provides. In the near future, I also hope to make another post about the more technical details, such as which modules were used, what kind of custom solutions were implemented, and what administrative features are provided on the backend.
The main page gives an at-a-glance view of the latest topics, much like any forum software. Posts are organized into containers, such as Mac OS X Products, and below that, forums addressing a particular product or group of topics, such as Pukka. When new topics are posted under a forum, they bubble up to the top.
Forums main page (click to enlarge)
To participate in the forums, you must register for an account. With this account, you can maintain a unique identity across all of the posts. You can include as much or as little information as you like, currently including real name, photo or avatar, physical location, and website. This information is only available to other forum users -- only your username is available publicly.
Account page (click to enlarge)
In addition, you get a box in the right sidebar with easy access to My forum posts (posts created by you) and My forum votes (posts you've voted on).
Just like the blog archives and all of the pages on the site, forum topics are searchable. And these searches are able to be bookmarked, so you can easily check back frequently for updates related to a topic you are interested in.
Aside from easy access to any forum topics that you may have created yourself, you can also vote on anyone else's topics using a zero- to five-star rating system. Perhaps the best use for this feature is that you can use this to flag topics that you are interested in periodically checking back on. Another use might be a tip that you really want others to see or a feature request that you'd like to weigh in on.
The popular topics get aggregated to a special page called top forum topics where they can be easily tracked. I'm hoping that this can be a useful way to chart the future direction of our applications, as well as to more easily resolve important issues affecting many customers.
Feeds, Feeds, Feeds
One of the strongest features of the forums is easy and plentiful RSS feeds. Currently, you can access feeds for:
- All forum topic activity: codesorcery.net/forums/feed
- Container activity: For example, all posts about Pukka. Just add /feed to the end of any container URL.
- Topic activity: If you make a post, you subscribe to all comments on the post by clicking the link on the topic page or adding /feed to the URL.
Forum feeds (click to enlarge)
In conclusion, I'm happy to launch the forums and I hope that they will be of benefit to users of our products, Mac, iPhone, and Drupal enthusiasts, and folks interested in our services, for starters. Please, if you have any suggestions or feedback, consider using the General Discussion forum topic.
Enjoy the forums!