What's new in the upgraded CSI Files


Talk CSI Files was today upgraded from version 6.4 to Most changes to the system won't make any difference to you. There's a lot of code tweaks, and behind-the-scenes stuff. But there are, none the less, still things that change for you—both as part of the upgrade, or things I've changed/added myself. Here's an overview:

Quick reply
Probably the most noticeable change. In addition to clicking reply/quote, you can now also click 'quick reply' which will take you to a form on the bottom of the thread. Here you can type in your reply, click continue and your reply will be added to the last post in the thread. This is more efficient, taking out one step in the posting process—but it is entirely optional, just an additional way to post.


Updated search engine
I have made some modifications to the search engine. These should make it quicker and less intensive for the server. You also have two additional options to help refine your search results: Search Posts and Replies or Search Main Posts Only, and Sort By Relevance or Sort By Date. Due to the way the search is implemented, search queries MUST be at least four characters long now. i.e. if you search for the term CSI you will get no results.

Flood control ditched
There was quite a complicated flood control system based upon registration status, user level, server load etc. We've dumped all of that, so it'll be a lot easier to use Talk CSI, particularly for unregistered visitors. There is still some flood control, however. New posts and searches must be at least ten seconds apart. Also, you must be registered and logged in to be able to use the search engine.

This is a future feature that may be utilized. The board admins now have the ability to put up messages in certain forums, and tailor how often they appear. This may be a useful way of sharing important information or issuing reminders specific to a forum. So if you see them crop up in the future, don't be surprised!

Easier, more efficient avatar system
There was a lot of confusion with new members wondering where their avatars were before. Of course they had to make 100 posts first, but that wasn't obvious. So I've changed the way avatars are controlled. Now, on the profile update screen, the new user will see a message saying that they can't select an avatar yet, also telling them how many more posts they need to make. (As a small side effect of this change, some users currently under 100 may have their avatars early. For those few, you won't be able to edit your avatar until you get to 100 posts!)

Easier for new users to register
To make it a bit easier for new users to register, there's a more explanative error system. For example they will get errors like this:


It also goes back to the same page and repopulates the form (with the exception of passwords), thus avoiding the whole saga of pressing the back and maybe having lost all your information!

Previewing posts/replies
This is now off by default, so will mostly affect new users, again making posting quicker with less pages to click through. You can still turn your preview off and on by checking the relevant box when posting. You can turn it off or on by default too, by clicking on 'My Home', then 'Display preferences...' then changing the 'Do you want the preview post screen default off or on?'

Amount of topics on the forums pages
For some unknown reason this option was missing. But it's back! You can change how many topics you see when entering a forum. Go to 'My Home' then 'Display preferences...' then change the 'Total parent posts to show per page' option.

Active topics
On the front page of CSI Files is a list of the most recent posts at Talk CSI. This has been changed from a custom system, where a script used to run on a regular basis, to being generated by the messageboard's own system. The way it works now is that when a post is made, the system checks to see if the list has been updated within the last ten minutes. If not, it won't update the list and will wait until someone next posts to check again.

Deletion of cookies
Sometimes your cookies can get corrupted. If you're having login/logout/posttracking issues, go to 'My Home' then click 'My Cookies'. Click 'Expire Cookies' to clear them, then start again by logging in. This will often solve many problems.

Known issue
There is a known problem with this version of the software, and that is post tracking oddities. For example, you may get a topic that persistently says it is new when you have read it. Clicking 'Mark All Read' from the top bar will normally always solve this, and you can also try expiring your cookies (see above).

Any questions?
If you encounter any problems or have any questions, please post in this topic in Questions, Suggestions & Feedback. But please remember I am just handling the technical issues. Any operational issues should be directed at T'Bonz and her team as usual.