Sitecore Forums Know-How

One fine day on Sitecore forums I received a request to do a private message. It took me some time to find out how to do it. I enquired with my colleague Varun Shringarpure for it and he was like he has done it earlier but cannot recall how. Well private messaging is always catchy to eyes on the post, but somehow we were not able to see it. This made me think why not to write a blog that covers various aspects for posting messages on Sitecore forums. So let’s jump and see how Sitecore forums can deliver to the Sitecore developer’s community and makes a Sitecore learner’s life easy. Sitecore Forum is an implementation of YetAnotherForum.Net which is an open source solution. Sitecore YAF, a module available on Sitecore Market Place allows YAF integration with Sitecore implementation.

Best browser I have found for using sitecore forums with all RTE capabilities is FireFox.

Forum Features

Registration

For accessing Sitecore forums you need to register at Sitecore Developer Network. The registration process involves email verification, validation and profile updating. SF-1

Once registered successfully you can now login to Sitecore Developer Network. For accessing forums click on “Forum” link you will be taken to below screen.

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Most of the information and sections on the forum are self-explanatory hence I will avoid going into minute details for those.

The information that is available on the forum page is,
1) Filters:
a) Active – List of posts with recent activity
b) Unanswered – List of posts that are unanswered
c) Not Read – List of posts that you have not read
d) My Forums – List of posts and threads you have participated in
e) Private messages – Private messages sent to you from other forum members

2) Developer Talk: Contains various discussion threads (Sitecore Certified Developers, General Discussion, Snippets, Installation, Sitecore Shared Source Modules etc…) and is the most active group.
3) End User Talk: End user related questions, using Sitecore interfaces.
4) Who is online: Shows statistics about the number of users that are currently accessing the forum, their names and also it links to the member’s profile page.
5) Forum statistics: As the name suggest it provides information about Sitecore Forum statistics, displaying total registered users, threads and posts. It also shows the newest member who have signed up recently with sitecore forums.

Most Active Members: This section gives information about the last 10 active members along with the total latest threads the member has replied.

Once you enter a discussion thread you will see list of Topics / Threads. The recently updated thread will appear at the top.

Below screen gives information on various links

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How to subscribe for email alerts?

At the bottom of a forum page, clicking on the options link, expands “Forum Options” and “Forum Statistics”.

Forum Options has features like sorting, filtering and subscribing to a thread.

Forum Statistics informs about number of members currently browsing the forums with their Names.

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I will now cover various UI elements and its usage.

RSS Feed for a forum

Each of the forum has its own RSS feed and you can subscribe to it by clicking the RSS link available at the bottom of a forum page.

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Private message

Here comes the one that motivated me to write this post. Use “pm” link available at the bottom of a post, in case you want to send a private message to a forum member. One of the usage of this feature can be sharing personal details.

private message

Website link

“www” link will appear for those members who have specified a website url in their profile. Ideally it would be link to member’s blog or their company website. Edit and watching profile is covered in “Members details” section of this post.

website

Reply

Use it to reply a post in a thread.

Reply

Quote

You can carry forward reply of other forum member while replying to a post. Use it when you want to comment, reply or add few more insight for an already replied post.

Delete

It appears only on the post which you have replied and as the link says it will allow deleting of your reply to a post. Deleting has been restricted no Sitecore forums and you have to contact the moderator for deletion.

Delete permissions

Edit

For making corrections to your previous replies use the edit link, it appears for the replies made by you.

Report

For any concerns related to a post use this link to report it to the forum moderator.

Search

Free text search within forum. Link is present at the top left of each thread.

Search

Notify

For subscribing to email alerts when a post is added to a particular thread, available at the top left of a thread.

Notify

Member details

Member's details

Taking “John West” member details is intentional, look at the posts he has made. It makes me think can I reach such a number one day and hence it motivates me to keep posting and sharing knowledge on SDN.

On the left side of a post a summary of member’s profile is visible with Name, Avatar, Ranking, and member’s joining date to Sitecore Forum and the total number of post by that member.

Clicking on the Name of a member will take you to the member’s profile page having more details about the member.

Member profile

Signature

It will appear at the bottom of every reply that you make.

Post Rank

It is calculated based on the number of post you have made.

Editing your profile

Edit profile link

For updating our profile we can make use of the greeting message displayed at the top right side on the forum. Below screen depicts member profile page for updating.

user profile

RTE

You should notice the message posted at the top of the forums as

Browser usage notification

If ignored you will be having less capabilities with RTE when you want to reply to a post. File attachments can be made via File upload box present at the bottom of the RTE.

As per my experience FireFox is the best suited browser for having all RTEditing capabilities.

RTE

References

YetAnotherForum.Net

YetAnotherForum Features

– The screen grabs in the post are taken from Sitecore forum

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