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What's missing in Talkyard

By KajMagnus @KajMagnus2019-02-21 04:21:29.996Z2020-09-20 02:52:23.922Z

Here are things relatively many ask about, and that have not yet been implemented:

  • Custom groups — now available, June 2019. You can add people to a group, and configure security permision and notification settings for everyone in the group at once. Maybe some other features people will want are missing — will impement, during the nearest weeks and months.
  • Mobile app notifications and desktop notifications. (Currently, you get notified via email instead.)
  • OpenID Connect (OIDC) login: Azure AD login, Keycloak, Okta etc. — Currently fixing this (May, June ... september 2020). Not SAML though, but you can use e.g. Keycloak as an in-between Identity Broker.
    (There's social login already: Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Github. And Single Sign-On via API.)
  • Topic tags, and sub categories. Plan to add in June october 2020.

So now you know.
  • 33 replies

There are 33 replies. Estimated reading time: 30 minutes

  1. L
    @Locatelli2020-05-18 21:06:16.846Z2020-05-19 17:17:47.403Z

    Missing:

    -Twitter (and other social media) embeds inside talkyard. Definitely a must for any modern forum app.

    -Previews of talkyard posts on Twitter, a la wordpress or discourse. Show a preview of the topic with image when posting a talkyard topic url to twitter.

    -Descritpive URL. A topic url that resembles the title of the topic, like wordpress or discourse.

    -A quick way to rebuild the app so one can change config options such as ports without having to reinstall the app.

    -Themes.

    1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-05-19 15:17:07.002Z

      The Twitter link you copy pasted, how does it look? Then I can read the Twitter docs about how to fetch the correct HTML from Twitter and embed.

      Thanks for writing about the other things also missing

      1. L@Locatelli2020-05-19 18:38:54.324Z

        The Twitter link you copy pasted, how does it look?

        In talkyard? They look just like a link. In sites with embedding enabled, such as wordpress, or other forum apps, they look like this: https://help.twitter.com/en/using-twitter/how-to-embed-a-tweet

        Other social media:

        Facebook: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/embedded-posts/

        Instagram: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/instagram/embedding/

        Telegram: https://core.telegram.org/widgets/posts

        TikTok: https://developers.tiktok.com/doc/Embed

        1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-05-21 22:03:58.738Z

          Thanks, ok, so you want to embed individual tweets? (Since there're different Twitter things to embed, e.g. someone's profile, or timeline, or "collection" (what's that?) etc, just wanted to check I would start with the right thing to embed.)

          Probably it'll take a bit before this happens, like, two weeks.

          1. L@Locatelli2020-05-21 22:57:51.722Z

            Yes, individual tweets will do.

            1. L@Locatelli2020-05-28 04:23:53.429Z
              1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-05-29 06:41:17.217Z

                I think I can build this next week. I can@mention you and post status update(s)

                1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-06-04 14:37:42.565Z

                  @Locatelli — status update: I think I can start with this, to the weekend or next week. — I'd be a bit surprised if Twitter tweets aren't included in a new version at the end of next week (June 13).

                  1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-06-10 01:29:47.158Z

                    @Locatelli — I'm working with this now. Turns out it's a bit more work than what I thought, because this needs database tables and needs to remember the external link previews, and preview html download date etc.

                    On the other hand, now at the same time I can stat remembering in site backlinks, as part of this, and show incoming links. Related: https://www.talkyard.io/-326/feature-consideration-backlinks

                    1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-06-15 17:56:29.140Z

                      @Locatelli — I got all the above ( + Reddit too) link previews (seems to be what they're called) working,, but didn't yet code review (it's in a work-in-progress Git branch). That'll take 2-3 days. (Turns out there were lots of changes and end-2-end tests to write. I do feel surprised it was this much work.)

                      Also, seems maybe I cannot wrap everything in sandboxed <iframes> although I would want to. The scripts from FB, Instagram, Telegram, TikTok etc break, when they're in an srcdoc=... iframe and cannot access document.cookie or localStorage and other things. (I find this highly annoying. Each one of them sort of assume "everyone" trusts their link preview scripts (oEmbed .html). I suppose some time later, trusting their scripts will instead be an opt-in setting.)

                      1. L@Locatelli2020-07-26 04:40:04.730Z

                        Hello.

                        Long time no see. I had to leave to the country/field due to pandemic. No internet, no work, no hobby, no anything internet wise. But I am back.

                        In this time i decided to dump self hosted instance and will be probably using your hosted edition in the near future. Just one question. I find myself in the need to monetize my project. Is there a way to put adds in my forum?

                        TY.

                        1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-07-27 06:15:46.338Z

                          No internet for a while in a way sounds like an interesting experience. That was long ago for me (on an island with water via hand water pumps, like this one:

                          )

                          Copy-pasting e.g. AdSense code could / should work I think.
                          Right now, there aren't many places where admins can insert their own HTML though.
                          Currently in the header (at the very top), and footer.
                          Adding more places where custom html code can appear, would be simple, e.g. at the top of each topic (just above the title) or after N replies.

                          What types of ads do you have in mind? (AdSense or some other ads provider?)

                          (B.t.w. I just merged the link-previews branch into the main branch, after some weeks of doing other things.
                          Now, will do a bit more code review & tests.)

                          1. L@Locatelli2020-08-01 17:26:20.042Z

                            Just getting back at work in my project. I checked the spanish translation and looks very nice. However there are still many things in english, for instance the "criticism is welcome" tip. I could help translating the test if needed.

                            Regarding ads, yeah, adsense is a must. I was thinking also about ads from bitcoin networks such as a-ads.com

                            I read you wrote twitter embeds are implmented but they arent working for me?

                            https://mobile.twitter.com/ActualidadRT/status/1289611852888956928
                            1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-08-03 18:41:33.606Z

                              It doesn't work yet — surprisingly, I wasn't done with code review & adding tests until yesterday. I'll merge the branch later this week (I think) and should be available some time next week.

                              (Took longer than planned, because for some reason I decided to also add backlinks between topics, which was like 10 x more work than what I had thought)

                              I'd think that, since admins can add their own Javascript to Talkyard, both AdSense and a-ads would work. However maybe it'd be nice to have the ads appear somewhere in the middle of the page, so people see the ads, when they're reading. (Rather than only at the very top of the page.)

                              Help with the translations is sort of always needed :- ) Maybe I could merge any changes next week together with the Twitter previews etc stuff.
                              Here's the readme again: https://github.com/debiki/talkyard/blob/master/translations/i18n-README.md

                              1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-08-24 13:49:50.575Z

                                @Locatelli now I've deployed the Twitter etc link preview code to here at Ty .io — but not yet to Prod. (First, will try out the new code, incl backlinks (lots of changes), here for a while).

                                As you can see above, there's a problem: Twitter, Instagram, etc, — most OEmbed providers — have code that fails with different errors, when run in a sandboxed iframe (security thing).

                                So, seems there'll need to be config values so admins can fully enable link previews, from providers they trust — then, Talkyard will run their external scripts and/or un-sandbox the iframe.

                                For example, you trust Twitter ok much (it seems), so you'd be ok with running Twitter's Javascript, and then images and videos appear (and not just text, like above, as of now, Aug 2020).

    2. B
      In reply toKajMagnus:
      Peter It-Leo @brainbug2019-10-28 11:26:24.776Z

      Sub Topics would be nice. They would give a look and feel like a common forum and a better handling of bigger communities. Or at least topic grouping as a "headline" which can be collapsed and minimized.

      1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2019-10-28 14:38:03.278Z

        This sounds interesting — and I'm a bit unsure what you have in mind? Maybe you could share a link to some website that has sub topics implemented? You didn't mean sub categories?

        Would there be different section inside one discussion topic (like, this page), with their own headlines?
        And one could collapse the sub topics — then, only the headlines would be shown?

        Or is this about the forum topic list page? I.e. pages like: https://www.talkyard.io/forum/

        1. BPeter It-Leo @brainbug2019-10-28 15:38:36.330Z2019-10-28 21:19:55.444Z

          There is probably more than one way to reach the goal.
          I was thinking about: how to find a topic within talkyard, especially if you have about 30 "main" static topics with lot of sub topics as you might have in a forum (here they are categories).

          So i like the non static way of talkyard but see some issues finding a topic when you have 2000 or more topics. If you organize topics with categories only, you will have a lot of categories and sub-categories. But it could be a smart way also... don't know that. So let me try to explain with an example:

          You have a community which is sharing a lot of information for cars:

          • Car Models (Headline - static / topics - collapsing)

            • Audi (Sub Topic, has new threads)
            • BMW (Sub Topic)
            • Chrysler (Sub Topic)
            • Ford (Sub Topic)
              ... 15 more "Topics"
          • Repairing (Headline - static / topic - collapsing)

            • ...
            • ...
              ... etc.

          At this point it would be nice to create static headline and pre defined topics (like a forum).

          Or another way as you mentioned before with categories and subcategories. In the example the topic "Audi" has the category "car" and will automcatically put under the static headline "car" in the main view. So it would be easier to find a topic. But if you have a great forum and about 20 headlines and 100-200 categories, it would be painfull to select a category (overwhelming the user to find the right categorie and scrolling through dozens of entries while creating a new topic). So i think pre defined topics would be much better with some categories (which would be maybe the headline? Like category: car, repairing... - these are automatically the static and collapsable headlines....). I have something like this in mind.
          That would keep the "dynamic" i love in talkyard with the alternative use as forum (which i am looking for). But it might be not the intension of talkyard, i know that (but would be a nice optional feature). But i see your point about sub categories.

          That is why i think categories should not the main way to organize the "main menu" and more for detailing the topic. The level 1 (main) and level 2 (sub) topics for the main menu and after that new topics (level 3) will be created from user.

          Maybe it's possible to create "non choosable main categories" which are the main menu. Then you have categorie "audi" which has been defined as a subcategorie for cars (which the user does not see) from the admin, Creating a new topic with this categorie will automatically put under the main "headline" cars. That would a first step for organizing large communites with lot of topics.

          It's just about having like 2000 topics within thousands of answeres. But probably talkyard is not made to handle that this way and showing answeres.

          Maybe a solution would be like this: https://community.nodebb.org/
          There are main categories with sub categories located all at main site. So you can jump directly to the sub category. In these sub categories you can create a new topic and does not have to choose from a large categorie list. This should be an alternative feature to organize the topics/categories in talkyard. For small communities you can use the existing type. For large communities you can organize as mentioned in this paragraph. Then talkyard would be a nice, modern and attractive alternative to current forum software.

          1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-02-09 10:18:07.836Z

            (sorry for the late reply ... I started writing, and then I was going to proofread this later and ... a bit forgot, until some weeks later. .... Then I re-read what you wrote, and, felt uncertain if I understood everything correctly, ... worked with other things ... and ... didn't reply until now. — I wrote the reply below some months ago, and ... not sure if it makes much sense.)

            This sounds to me like a forum homepage "menu builder" or "categories and topics index builder"? Maybe one could drag & drop top level categories, and also topics, to create a level 1 menu. Categories would list their sub categories, like the NodeBB example you linked, does. And one could also somehow insert "featured topics" as level 2 sub items, as children of the categories, and in that way list not only sub categories, but also the most important topics in those categories?

            Something like this? (Where [c] and [t] are some icons showing if the "thing" is a Category or a Topic)

            Forum Name
            ============
            
            [t] Welcome Topic Name
            [t] Get-help chat channel link
            
            [c] Category Name
                  [c] Sub Category
                  [c] Another Sub Category
                  [c] Third Sub Cat
            
                  [t] Featured Topic Name
                  [t] Other Featured Topic Name
            
            [c] Another Category
                  [c] Some Sub Category
                  [c] Yet Another Sub Category
            
                  [t] A recently popular Topic
                  [t] The 2nd most "hot" topic in this category
            
            [t] Top level featured topic
            [t] Another featured topic
            

            So one could insert topics and categories in whichever way one wants.
            One could maybe choose to show the most popular topics, in a category,
            and also manually mark certain topics as "Featured", and then they'll appear next to the categories and the "Popular" topics?

            And, by default, only categories would be shown, like in your NodeBB example?

      2. D
        In reply toKajMagnus:
        D @dave2019-11-21 06:20:28.346Z

        A user reputation system (like on Stack Exchange or Question2Answer).
        https://stackoverflow.com/help/whats-reputation

        1. In reply toKajMagnus:
          Leon Stafford @leonstafford2019-11-27 04:07:25.891Z

          May just be me missing where to find the docs:

          • API calls (only see the upsert one in e2e specs)
          • webhooks: would like to be able to not login to Talkyard (or any other tool) unless absolutely necessary. With so many things used, webhooks allow centralizing it in a way that makes sense to me (with more usable data than email notifications)
          1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2019-11-27 07:06:51.386Z

            Agreed that docs are missing :- P

            What webhooks do you want / need?

            There's an RSS / Atom feed. Example (for this site): https://www.talkyard.io/-/v0/feed — can be combined with Zapier

            Currently there's Single Sign-On, and Upsert-Categories, and (implementing right now) Upsert-Pages.

            1. Leon Stafford @leonstafford2019-11-27 09:51:35.134Z

              Thanks @KajMagnus!

              Couldn't see if there was pagination option in feeds (hardcoded limit to 25 most recent?)

              Thinking out loud, I'd like to be able to pull KPIs, like:

              • number posts
              • number posts with replies
              • number posts answered
              • number users

              And have event triggered webhooks, like when a user signs up and when a post/comment is made, I can attribute that to the user, based on their email.

              This helps with a centralized customer area I'm working on, where, for example a customer support request comes in, I can quickly see all activity from this person across forum, payment, email.

              Also enjoying the ReTool app as a centralized admin UI. With something like this, I can have a singular admin UI for most daily tasks and not need to login to each system, with it's own login, UI, etc. (Replying by email doesn't work for all software/SaaS)

              1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2019-12-03 21:58:58.838Z

                Number of topics with replies, you mean?

                Maybe I can change limit = 25 to a value taken from the URL param? Like, /-/v0/feed?limit=44&offset=44 or limit=44&olderThanMs=<unix timestamp in milliseconds>, how would that work? (&offset=... could be problematic if a new post appears, in between the API requests — then a post could get accidentally excluded when paginating the feed. But olderThanMs=... doesn't have this problem)

                About event triggered webhooks — maybe you could reply with some JSON describing the data you'd like to receive, when a reply gets posted?

                centralized customer area I'm working on — ok, good use case. ReTool looks nice, hmm I'm wondering, maybe something I could use too.

                Sorry for the late reply.

          2. F
            In reply toKajMagnus:
            Dino Fancellu @fancellu2020-09-19 17:57:55.350Z

            Is it possible for categories to be hierarchical?

            Currently it seems to be a flat list.

            Would like to be able to have categories of categories

            Say we had 60 categories, that would be hard to navigate and would lack any natural hierarchy

            e.g.

            software
            --blender
            --photoshop
            hardware
            --sound cards
            --graphics cards
            ----AMD
            ----NVIDIA

            Thanks

            1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-09-20 02:47:43.186Z

              Not yet, will be. Before that, though, on the todo list, is: OIDC login (soon done), then, support for tags.

              I'm wondering if you might want e.g. Nvidia and AMD to be tags — so you'd tag the graphics cards with, say, AMD. And could filter like so: category:graphics-cards tags:amd — but also just tags:amd to see all things by AMD.
              Then, possibly main categories, and sub categories, + tags, could work?

              Actually there is one community that uses sub categories already, here's how it looks: https://forum.soundflow.org/latest/packages
              (but works only at that site, as of now — only partly implemented)

              Edit I can maybe implement sub categories together with tags, after OIDC — a bit related to each other.

              1. FDino Fancellu @fancellu2020-09-20 08:39:54.941Z

                Tags would be nice as a way to filter the flat structure. But also to structure.You could bring the 2 worlds together by having an implicit tag for a category. e.g. tags:amd graphics-cards
                As for tags themselves, instead of just being a plain String, they could have a parent tag (remember, category is also now a tag, as well as order int.

                So, with flat categories as now, you can put the structure in the world of tags, and use that to render some structure, so UI wise, the user would see category/tags/tags/tags tree i.e. N deep

                Of course, these tags would be only editable by an admin. So you decide what "sections" the forum has and how deep it goes. We could have a separate "free tag" of just a string, but that wouldn't show up in the structure, but could be filtered on

                1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-09-22 14:53:29.534Z

                  I also want structured / hierarchical tags (parent & children tags). Actually I'd want tag values too, e.g. to tag things with a priority number tag, like: priority: 3.

                  flat categories as now, you can put the structure in the world of tags, and use that to render some structure, so UI wise, the user would see category/tags/tags/tags tree i.e. N deep

                  Hmm it'd be interesting to experiment with a forum index page, that combines both categories & tags somehow.
                  Maybe like you wrote, that tags could function as sub categories somehow. (?)
                  However I'm wondering if it'd be annoying if sometimes a topic has many tags and appears in >= 2 places,
                  in such a cats + tags forum topic index page.

                  There've been ideas about automatically constructing a Knowlede Base "homepage", using tags.
                  In your case, that might correspond to a homepage that automatically finds the most interesting topics about different hardware,
                  regardless of category.

                  If there's any place online that looks similar to what you're thinking about, feel free to share a link :- )

            2. S
              In reply toKajMagnus:
              Steve Lee @stevelee2019-09-27 21:10:13.543Z

              The admin pages do not show the number of likes.

              1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2019-09-29 17:38:53.005Z

                Hmm can you please explain a bit more? Do you mean ... Maybe the Review tab in the admin area, where one sees other people's posts and can review them? And that there're no Like votes shown there? — If so, showing Like votes there, and Disagree votes etc, seems like possibly a good idea. Can be helpful, when reviewing, is that what you had in mind?

                Or you want a summary of all likes everywhere? And a graph: Num like votes, plotted against time?

                1. SSteve Lee @stevelee2019-09-30 10:58:13.395Z

                  Sorry I meant the review tab - the pages that show my comments - at least on the top level one. It would be useful to see the number of likes. So I likes total.

                  But now I think of it the like is per page not comment so may not fit with those review pages?

                  1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2019-10-04 16:10:31.337Z

                    I'll show Like etc vote counts, in the next version. (Just fixed.)

                    1. In reply tostevelee:
                      KajMagnus @KajMagnus2019-10-04 15:33:15.594Z

                      Thanks for explaining. I agree with you; it'd be nice to see Like and Disagree votes etc on the review tab. (Likes are per post / comment, not per page.)