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Thread Prefix System - How it works

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by FactionOne, Aug 16, 2009.

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  1. FactionOne
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    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    [Aug 16, 2009]
    Hi All,

    As you may have noticed, we're testing out a Thread Prefix system; first of all on you 8P guys and gals because this forum is quite a busy one, and we hope it'll help you navigate the forum more efficiently.

    Threads will start to appear with one of two prefixes, looking something like this:

    [​IMG]

    So, when you're submitting a new thread, you'll have to choose a prefix from the drop-down list in the editor:

    [​IMG]

    Using the prefix system allows you to filter, or search for threads using prefix options.

    When searching the forum, as below:

    [​IMG]

    Select the Advanced Search option. After you've entered a keyword (or a username) as your search term, you can limit your search to those with specified prefix attributes by using the drop-down list:


    [​IMG]

    (NB: Selecting "any prefix" will search posts that have any or no prefix (older threads).

    Similarly, when you're browsing the forum index, if you'd prefer to see only threads with specified prefix attributes, you can use the drop-down list in the Display Options pane at the bottom of the index:

    [​IMG]

    (NB: This selection is temporary, so you'll not miss any new threads unless you choose to filter the list on your next visit to the forum)

    We hope you'll find this feature useful. If you have comments, queries or suggestions, please reply to this thread (but please keep replies brief and on-topic as it will help us to deliver the best service we can).

    Thanks and regards,

    Rob.
    #1
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  3. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Aug 16, 2009]
    If this is just a way of making a search easier then Diesel/petrol would be a better split given that most 8P's here are covered in S3 bits....and most S3 problems are probably 8P problems as well..
    Just my first thoughts..:yes:
    #2
  4. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 16, 2009]
    Please note that S3 specific is for things that ONLY apply to the S3.

    Yours points are noted Paddy.
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  5. Igdos
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    Igdos Member

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    [Aug 16, 2009]
    Can see why it's being done but would it not be easier and more user-friendly to make a subforum for pure S3 threads?

    Rather than cluttering the page with 8P General/S3 specific titles?
    #4
  6. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Aug 16, 2009]
    Trouble is things like this

    S3 Specific how do you launch an s3 stronic

    Apply equally to a S3 and 8P. An 8p /S3 split is rather vague and mods are going to spend a lot of time changing the colour of posts.
    To help in a search i think categories need to be a lot more specific
    Engine...Gearbox...interior...exterior...that sort of thing but it would probably make things very complicated.
    The best improvement here would be if you could speed the site up !! sometimes it can take 1-2 mins just to get connected !! especially in the evening.
    #5
  7. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 16, 2009]
    You make a valid point Paddy yes that thread should be 8P really. In my haste I got that one wrong.

    I have gone through and changed all the threads on the front page pretty only so members logging in today can see what the page will look like once the new threads take over. They can also try out the prefix filter system at the bottom of the page and see the benefits.

    ONE reason to split the prefixes into A3 and S3 is because it's not possible to carry out a search for just S3 or A3 threads as the term 'S3' is too short for the search system. Things like petrol/diesel etc are no problem.
    #6
  8. FactionOne
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    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    [Aug 16, 2009]
    Completely separating S3 is something that I'm not keen to do just at the moment. We have seen the need to allow users more direct access to specific S3 content though (and of course on the flip-side, other users more direct access to content which isn't S3 specific).

    We've had extensive discussion about this in the Mod/Admin group, and we've decided to try this method; as it enables more direct navigation of content (than there was at this time yesterday), but hopefully without splitting the group. After all, Audi-Sport.net started life as a strict S3 forum, so I think it might be leaning towards the distant past a little bit to start dividing areas of the site into smaller, more numerous chunks - certainly without investingating one or two other possibilities first.

    In essence the prefix system allows the user to turn 8P into an S3 specific section (albeit temporarily) if that's what he or she wants to do; simply by changing the display option to show S3 Specific threads only. Hopefully making it temporary and optional, we won't end up with as large a rift between users as perhaps a sub-forum might.

    Thanks for your feedback though, this is what testing developments is all about.

    Regards,

    Rob.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
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  9. mhill
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    mhill Member VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 16, 2009]
    Brilliant idea, but i feel the formating could be changed is its not that easy on the eye.
    #8
  10. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 16, 2009]
    I've just suggested only showing the two digits 8P and S3 on the screen but leaving the 8P General and S3 Specific in the drop when when you create a new new. Personally I think that may look better on the screen.
    #9
  11. pcmanning
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    pcmanning Member

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    [Aug 17, 2009]
    Given the other thread trying to classify 8P1/2/3 etc that this could be a more valid way, but having said that a (auto) tag system would be more effective? So a message gets (auto) tagged with 8P1/2/3 and/or S3 (and or diesel/petrol/engine type/quattro etc etc) and the forum can then be filtered by tags as required. Obviously a fair amount of work if it's not available for this forums' software platform though!

    Paul
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  12. FactionOne
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    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    [Aug 17, 2009]
    Again, thanks for your feedback. That will be considered against the other factors we'll consider when evaluating this trial.

    Again, I don't want to separate threads quite so finely just yet, but if that presents itself as necessary in time, we'll look at extending things - of course auto-tagging could work just as well (if not more accurately) with fewer options; so that is something which can be considered now. That said though, I don't imagine user selection from one of two choices for new threads is extremely time-consuming or troublesome, even to relative newcomers.

    Regards,

    Rob.
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  13. Lima
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    Lima AUSmotive.com

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    [Aug 18, 2009]
    The shorter prefixes are much better. :rockwoot:
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  14. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 18, 2009]
    If I may say Patrick has some very good points & best so far, think actual specific areas for interior, gearbox etc would be far better & more useful to members, I think the site needs some further sub forums adding for specific areas as it is fairly cluttered with alot of **** to search through, the search facility is if I'm honest fairly useless & then you get a mod saying use search, kinda understand why others dont, cause I myself have tried it many times & got nothing specific for what I was looking for, tagging could be a good idea though.

    Best point though overall is, I think the site speed should be addressed before new features are added, this I would lay a bet on would be the most appreciated site improvement, because even though the site crashed many times on previous hosts/system it was lightning quick at the worst times albeit the crashes of course, but was very quick, but adding new features with this issue IMHO is pointless, speed 1st then new things to play with, all appreciated of course but think time spent on new features would be better spent on getting it up to speed, it really can be very painful at times & I'm in italy so I dont use it at the worst times either & the net access is good here.
    #13
  15. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 18, 2009]
    Some tweaks done over the last few days seem to have made a quite a difference to the speed.
    #14
  16. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 18, 2009]
    The speed has much improved due to some very late night tweakage during the last few days. The prefix system is currently on trial so maybe additional tweaks/options can be added/removed depending on what you guys need. The S3/A3 split was the one that people seemed to be most passionate about
    #15
  17. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 18, 2009]
    As the others have said the speed issue has been adjusted and it's working far better now. This isn't the place to discuss other issues with ASN though.

    In terms of the search Nigel it's actually a very good tool and others seem to be able to use it very well. I can understand that it may not find what you want straight away but with tweaking here and there it's perfectly good enough. I have found the information I have been looking for without problems. The most important thing to do is tick the 8P box.

    The thing that CAN'T be searched for with the search tool is A3 or S3.
    #16
  18. mitch78
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    mitch78 Active Member

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    [Aug 18, 2009]
    Surprisingly, :iagree:

    If you're going to use the 8P1 etc, I think you should at least be consistent and use it everywhere. There's far more chance of something being specific to either the 8P1, 2 or 3, than there is between the S3 and A3.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
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  19. Boydie
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    Boydie Boycie VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 18, 2009]
    Can't say I am a fan of the prefix's - finding myself on the forum less with them on. Think they are unattractive
    #18
  20. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 18, 2009]
    Unattractiveness makes you want to stay on the forum less?

    They're there to help guys with S3s find S3 threads. I thought that was a good thing :think:
    #19
  21. Boydie
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    Boydie Boycie VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 18, 2009]
    It is a good tool but in my opinion it just looks cluttered
    #20
  22. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 18, 2009]
    Maybe it's just something to get used to. We'll see how it goes :icon_thumright:
    #21
  23. FactionOne
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    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    [Aug 18, 2009]
    Might little icons instead of coloured text help?

    Cheers,

    Rob.
    #22
  24. FactionOne
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    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    [Aug 18, 2009]
    Mate, I get the feeling you posted that not having spent much time:

    a) noticing how much faster the forum is working - it's comfortably matching the performance of the last box now, but is a lot more reliable (and that's improving still). ...I think the other replies above, and what people have said in the Site Performance thread mean I need say no more.

    b) having a look around the site, to see how a not insignificant amount of time has been spent re-organising the WHOLE layout to make the business of finding what you're after a LOT more intuitive. This is a big site, with a lot of content. We've had quite a lot of positive feedback for the new index layout so far too. Search is effective if used carefully - and prefixes can be used as options within it. The biggest problem I'd say is results being cluttered with red-herrings; that takes moderation of the type in your example a necessity. A proper search of the forums for what the OP was interested in will now return that thread advising the OP to search as a result - another red herring. The better everyone gets at it, the more effective it becomes. Extra software features are in the pipeline now that priority number one -performance- is largely dealt with; but again - we don't do too bad as it is for a site of this size.

    c) even reading this thread, completely and carefully. Patrick's points which you re-stated have already been answered. Without having to pour over it in minute detail; I'll just say again that this is a test - I want to enable more efficient navigation for users without splitting the place down into 1,000,000 sections each with one or two threads - I'm exagerating of course, but hopefully it makes my point clearer. Dividing things so finely is great for some people, but not for others. I think it'd be a fair shout to expect extra confusion about where to post, and cause people to spend more time jumping from one section to another - as it is now there are some interesting and useful areas of the site which don't see as much traffic as they might simply because some folk don't like to nosey around so much - that only gets worse if things aren't handled carefully.

    I'm not trying to have a pop at you bud, and I'm grateful for the amount of time you spend contributing informative and helpful posts for other members; I just think that your post above is one hell of a lot less valid than it might've been a week or two ago; for the reasons (a), (b), and (c) above.

    All the best,

    Rob.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
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  25. FactionOne
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    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    [Aug 18, 2009]
    Again, we're just in a testing phase at the moment. We've got to see how effective/useful it is to people, and how much they like it. The decision to call it final, make further developments or scrap it for the 8P forum will be taken following this test period. Roll-out in other areas of the site may then be considered, but only if the conditions are the same.

    All the best,

    Rob.
    #24
  26. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Sep 9, 2009]
    Sorry but i am finding this annoying now.
    A majority of subjects last night
    RNS-E
    Steering wheel
    wheel spacers
    Wheel sizes
    i phone sockets
    led No plate lights
    What to take when driving in Europe.
    Mats
    DTDL
    Egg damage
    Seat belt warning light
    Face lift rear lights
    Turbo problem
    Audi keys
    Front sensors
    Coolant sensor
    Arm rest problem
    DSG

    Face lift rear lights
    Coolant sensor
    Lowered suspension
    Audi keys
    Turbo problem
    Seat belt warning light
    To name but a few
    Are not obviously specific to 8p or S3 but it is annoying to get half way through a thread and find a moderator telling the poster to change the prefix etc. If we must have a (system and lets face it, we didn't need one ) then we need 8P, S3 and General in my opinion.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
    #25
  27. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 9, 2009]
    I have pruned S3RYE's thread but I will try to answer the points raised there.

    The 8P forum has always been a place where people post threads that are not specific to the 8P. They post them there because they only frequent this forum and they want to post somewhere where they know people. Which is understandable.

    Sometimes we move them to the right place and sometimes we let them go. Especially if the thread has been quite active, moving it would only serve to kill the thread. Do you really want the mods to become hardasses and move every single thread out that doesn't belong there?

    The idea of the pre-fix system is to allow those interested in S3s to find threads easier. Firstly visually and secondly by the use of the search system. As an S3 owner I am biased of course but for me it's great to be able to keep up to date with S3 tuning and mods by just looking for those blue threads. For those who are not interested they can either avoid the S3 threads or carry on as normal.

    It is not the case that there are threads for the S3 only and the 8P only. If you look at the prefix titles they're called '8P General' and 'S3 Specific'. So, if your topic is something pertinent to the S3 only then use the S3 prefix, for all others use 8P.

    If someone no longer takes any notice of the prefixes then they have nothing to worry about.

    To be fair Paddy if I remember correctly I have only had to ask 2 people to change their pre-fixes. Both of whom did so without complaint.

    In the case of S3RYE's thread I had to make a decision when it was first posted. Do I a) move it to the general auto forum or b) leave it as he's just trying to vent some steam and get some advice from the people he knows within 8P.

    I obviously chose the latter and as such he needed to change the prefix as it wasn't S3 specific. It wasn't 8P specific either I know but there are only 2 choices.

    Feedback about the system is welcomed but please keep it constructive and put it here. Having a random go in someone else's thread is not how things should be done.
    #26
  28. HotboxDeluxe
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    HotboxDeluxe automatic

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    [Sep 9, 2009]
    Unnecessary IMO, sorry. It doesn't matter if you have an S3 or an 8P. or even an 8P S3 123456, I'd say two-thirds of the FAQ's in the A3 8P123S3 relate generally to A3s. Like the ipod, RNS-E, ambient lighting questions etc. Just my 2p :yes:

    On the other hand, the site works brilliantly now in comparison to a couple of months ago. Cheers chaps :thumbsup:
    #27
  29. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 9, 2009]
    It's not about A3s and S3s, it's S3 and 8P general (which includes the S3). So all those topics are 8P topics
    #28
  30. Ads
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    Ads License to drive

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    [Sep 9, 2009]
    I just think it's not needed and just confuses matters. Useful threads are probably going unread because of it.
    I've seen LOTS of "normal user" posts against the prefix system, and none for it.
    Why not do a poll and let the majority decide? I mean, we're the ones who use the forum and if the change is not liked by the vast majority then why not put it down an idea that didn't work and get rid of it.
    Sometimes you've just gotta go back to how things were. Ask the mayor about the congestion charge western extension!
    #29
  31. Ads
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    Ads License to drive

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    [Sep 9, 2009]
    That explanation alone pretty much sums up the confusion.
    I get it (I think), but some (maybe a lot) will think "what the hell????".

    e.g. I've got an S3 and a question about it, I don't know whether this thing that I've got a question about is specific to S3's as I don't know much about non-S3 8Ps, but it could be. What prefix do I use??
    (a) I know, I'll put it in the 8P general because I'm not sure. Turns out it is only specific to S3 and a lot of S3 owners are only viewing S3 prefixed threads, therefore my thread doesn't get the attention it needs.
    (b) I know, I'll put it in the S3 prefix, turns out it applies to all 8P's, but lots of non-S3 owners are not viewing S3 prefixed threads. My thread doesn't get the attention it needs.

    Confusion!!!!
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
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  32. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 9, 2009]
    The idea of a vote has been discussed and it was decided that initially we would allow people time to use the system first. There has been some negativity but out of the sheer numbers of active members it's only a few who don't seem to like it or don't see the point. As an S3 owner I see the point very clearly.

    I agree that it COULD cause confusion but so far that doesn't seem to be the case. As I said before I have only had to ask 2 people to change their prefixes.

    I'm pretty sure there aren't any S3 owners who would only read S3 threads, myself included, so those threads would still get the attention. I think most S3 owners know about the 8P though so they'll know what's S3 specific.

    If in doubt, use 8P :o.k:
    #31
  33. Ads
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    Ads License to drive

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    [Sep 9, 2009]
    I think there are more than you think who don't like it or see the point. But I'm guessing it's the more vocal members who pipe up. (me included!)

    If what you say about S3 owners not only reading S3 threads (and vice versa for non S3 owners) is true, then what is the point of having the prefix clearly displayed next to each thread??
    If the prefix system is to help when searching, then ok, keep it so people have to select a prefix when starting a thread, but make it invisible to the thread list.
    This way people can still use it for searching purposes, but not get met with a sea of red and blue when browsing the forum. As I think this is the cause of most complaints.
    #32
  34. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 9, 2009]
    And I think there are more than you think who do like it.

    Already explained this :keule:

    I'm not sure if it can be made invisible anyway but the visual side if it is half of the reason it's there in the first place!

    If people have trouble using the forum because there are different coloured prefixes then there's something wrong with them!
    #33
  35. Ads
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    Ads License to drive

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    [Sep 9, 2009]
    Do a poll.

    Oh yeah, so you did. So the prefix system is really for the benefit of S3 owners.
    Not 8P owners in general.
    You also said that S3 owners will not only read S3 threads, but then say it's to help them find S3 threads visually?? If they are going to read all/most threads as you say, why the need for visual sectioning?? :banghead:


    You honestly can't see how it could cause problems?? Not specifically stopping people from being able to use the forum, no one ever said that. But once again, I just feel it makes things more complicated than they need to be.

    DO A POLL! If us who speak against prefixes are wrong then I'll hang my head in shame. But if those who are for it are wrong then......... :think:
    #34
  36. mitch78
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    mitch78 Active Member

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    [Sep 9, 2009]
    :iagree:

    A poll would be useful. The prefix has been in use for long enough for people to have formed a genuine opinion of it, rather than just the initial "we don't like change!" reaction.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
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  37. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 9, 2009]
    Yes it's for the benefit of S3 owners. I'll openly admit that.

    I'm not sure why you feel the need to bracket everyone into 'Will only read S3 threads' or 'Will read every thread'. Sometimes people want a bit of both. I know I do anyway.

    I'll get back to you about the poll.
    #36
  38. Ads
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    Ads License to drive

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    [Sep 9, 2009]
    :sign_unfair: :sob:


    Because this, for me, is the main issue. I think a lot of threads that would've been read before the prefix system was introduced will now not be read or ignored. Mainly by non S3 owners maybe.


    :icon_thumright:
    #37
  39. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 9, 2009]
    I don't see any evidence of that to be honest.
    #38
  40. Ads
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    Ads License to drive

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    [Sep 9, 2009]
    Hard to gather evidence on something like that.
    I'm basing it on what I did when it was introduced. Maybe it was just me, maybe it wasn't.

    Hopefully the site team will agree to a poll and then we'll have the evidence for or against.
    #39
  41. 10blazin
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    10blazin HYPERDRIVE NEEDED

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    [Sep 9, 2009]
    cant wait for the poll " rubs hands together " we will find out if the new system is liked or not but if it isnt will it be dumped :confused:
    #40
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