First off, my apologies for not responding to all your feedback until now. I was on vacation for a week, and I've been busy handling some family business since my return. Thank you for all the excellent feedback.
So on with the show...
Lirr168 wrote:I think I will get used to the changes eventually, but I find the usernames being on the right to be extremely disorienting. Is there any way to change this as a personal option or would it have to have to be a whole forum change?
Unfortunately, this is hard-coded into the theme. This was a hotly debated decision by the people behind phpBB. The rationale is that the post text is generally more important than the poster's information and should therefore be more prominent (in this case, on the left instead of the right). It is different than the old layout, and make take some getting used to, but it seems to make the topic easier to read in general. I think it makes sense.
pgengler wrote:The "new"/"no new" icons aren't visually distinctive enough to tell at a quick glance which is which. The old icons at least had the big area in the middle that was empty (white) when there was nothing new and yellow when new; the new ones differ only in color, and with the dark gray/black and dark red, especially on an LCD when you're not looking exactly head-on, they're very similar.
I agree...the icons in the image set are hard to tell apart. The can be changed, and I plan to do so as soon as I can.
pgengler wrote:[*]The "Mark forums read" link at the top of the index page. On the old version, this was at the bottom, and it was great, because the way I look at the forum is like this: open the page, scroll down, opening the forums I'm interested in in new tabs, then click "Mark forums read" once I got to the bottom so that I didn't see the same threads as new. Since I'd already opened the forums before clicking the link, the various threads in the forums still had the appropriate new/no new icons. Now, if I do the same thing, I have to get back to the top of the page before I can click the link. (I know that it's only one keystroke, Home, but when I'm browsing the forums my hand is on the mouse, not the keyboard, and scrolling all the way back to the top isn't the speediest thing.)
That makes sense...it certainly wouldn't hurt to have a "back to top" link at the bottom. There's a Board Index link, but it is a link to the page, not a bookmark, so it doesn't help your situation. Is the Home key really that far away?
pgengler wrote:The page links for threads when viewing a forum on the far right of the table column. This separates them from the thread, especially when you're scanning down the list. It's very easy to click the thread title and end up on the first page of a thread instead of the last (which is usually where the new posts are, when you check in frequently enough).
Well, there is the "latest post" link at the right in both the forum and topic listing pages. I think the page links are in a fairly good spot on the topic list page.
pgengler wrote:No "quick reply" box at the bottom of a thread. I'm not 100% sure if this was there on the old skin, but I have it on other forums and it's nice to have, saving a click and a page load to post a reply.
I don't think phpBB ever had this...I'm not sure why.
pgengler wrote:I'm not really a big fan of moving the "user info" for a post to the right side from the left (since it's a pretty useless change for no reason and differs from nearly every other forum out there) but that's something I can learn to live with, I suppose.
It wasn't useless...it was quite calculated as I mentioned above.
Gerry6309 wrote:I have seen phpBB3 forums which are much more readable than this one. Contrast is very poor. There are multiple "skins" available which can be user selected if the option is made available.
Yeah, the monochromatic blue scheme is a little weak on contrast. I'll investigate some other themes. We're mainly concerned about quality (both visual and code) and maintainability.
Gerry6309 wrote:The performance issue is a big plus, though, and the webmaster deserves kudos for that!
MEC407 wrote:The increase in speed and reliability (which is thanks to new hardware, I assume?) is very nice indeed!
Thanks, guys. Yeah, the old server was just too slow and didn't have enough memory. We got a server with 2x the CPU and 4x the memory, and it shows.
TheOneCalledA1 wrote:The difference between this forum and railroad paint schemes is, it is a point-and-click operation to add an additional forum skin.
Well, kinda. I do have to customize it with the RAILROAD.NET header and integrate ad serving system, so it does take a minor amount of work to put a theme into use.