In recent weeks, the CPF has gone through a number of changes, including improvements with our server and with our interface software. Along with these improvements have come some rather annoying 'glitches' for some of our members. Most, if not all, of these 'glitches' can be remedied by changing your personal settings. In this post, Humphrey will try to describe a few recent problems and how to go about fixing them.
First, Humphrey suggests that you familiarize yourself with some of the display and functionality options available to you under your general "Profile" settings. To see these, mouse over the word "Profile" in the main options bar under site's banner at the top of just about any page -- including the one you're looking at. A drop-down menu will offer you the following options: "Summary," "Account Settings," and "Forum Profile."
Clicking on "Summary" will show you a brief overview of information about you as a CPF member, things like when you joined, how often you've posted, your sig line, etc. The "Summary" screen does not allow you to make any changes.
Clicking on "Account Settings" allows you to see and change information specific to your CPF account, such as your user name (Humphrey sees you, Bert), email address, password, and so on.
Clicking on "Forum Profile" shows you -- and allows you to change, add, or delete -- most of the "personal" user-specific information that displays in every post you make, including such things as your avatar, your sig line, and your personal web site. In addition, there is information such as your DOB and your geographical location that is optional and shows only in your public profile.
Now, Humphrey calls to your attention that clicking on ANY of the three options above produces a new menu line with three new options: "Profile Info," "Modify Profile," and "Actions." The first one, "Profile Info," shows you some interesting data having to do with your activity on the CPF; no changes can be made here. The last one, "Actions," is for one purpose only -- deleting your account PERMANENTLY. Since you've read this far, Humphrey is willing to bet you're not ready to delete your account just yet. The middle option, "Modify Profile," is the juicy one. Let's have a look.....
Mousing over "Modify Profile" activates a drop-down menu with six options. The first two, "Account Settings" and "Forum Profile" are merely repeats of those described above. The bottom three, "Notifications," "Personal Messaging," and "Buddies/Ignore List" offer you options for these services; they are pretty much self-explanatory. The third option, "Look and Layout," is where the meat is. If you've recently encountered a problem with posting or smileys or you're aggravated or annoyed with the way the forum interface works for you, this is where you want to be. Click on "Look and Layout" and you and Humphrey will see how much fun we can have!REMEMBER: If you make changes to any settings on the "Look and Layout" page, you must click on the "Change profile" button in the lower right-hand corner for the changes to take place.Current Theme
This refers to the cosmetic theme of the CPF software interface. As this is written, all users are using the newest theme, and no one has complained. Humphrey says leave this one alone.Current Smiley Set
This one has generated a lot of confusion and frustrations lately. Humphrey will explain...
A "smiley" is a graphical representation of a human face. In the early days of personal computing, smileys were groupings of ASCII characters (letters, numbers, punctuation marks) that vaguely resembled a facial expression. A simple primitive smiley was a colon followed by a close parenthesis -- a ":" followed by a ")" -- to represent two eyes and a big grin. (Almost all ASCII smileys were laid on their sides, so to speak.) Modern smileys are graphical representations of the same thing. Thus, if Humphrey types in a colon followed by a close parenthesis, you'll see a happy little face -- :) If you don't, read on....
The CPF's user interface -- the site's "front end" -- uses software to convert a limited set of ASCII codes to graphical "pictures" of faces. Our smileys are yellow and round and cute and right side up -- if we want them to be. But it's important to understand that this conversion algorithm functions only in the "front end," which means that your choice here affects only what you see
The "Current Smiley Set" option allows you to select from a small number of available smiley sets that are "built in" to the CPF front end. Selecting any of these sets changes the little yellow smileys that you see
; but your selection has NO effect on the smileys that others see. You also have the option "No Smileys," which turns off the graphical conversion software completely for you
; but again, it does not affect what others see. If you select "No Smileys," you'll notice three things: (1) your smileys bar will disappear from your composition boxes; (2) you will see no cute yellow round smileys; and (3) you will probably notice weird character groupings in many messages and postings all over the board. The weird character groupings are, of course, the ASCII versions of smileys that others have posted. And to complete the confusion, Humphrey would point out that even after selecting "No Smileys," you can still use smileys all you want. But you have to know the ASCII codes! (Humphrey created the cute yellow smiley above by actually typing in a colon and a close parenthesis, not by clicking on a smiley in the bar. Humphrey has many talents.)
To summarize, the "Current Smiley Set" setting is your way to control how you see smileys
, and it offers you the option of having a smiley bar in all your composition boxes, a VERY handy thing if you're like Humphrey and can't remember all those stupid ASCII codes. (A photographic memory is not one of Humphrey's many talents.)Time Format
Pick one.Time Offset
The CPF clock is set to Pacific Time. If you live in a different time zone, this setting will allow you to see the correct local time while you're using the CPF interface. (Humphrey Hint: click on auto detect!)Show board descriptions inside boards.Show child boards on every page inside boards, not just the first.Use sidebar menus instead of dropdown menus when possible.
These are self-explanatory and have only minor effects on user interface. Default for all three is off.Don't show users' avatars.Don't show users' signatures.
You may want to check these options if you have a very slow internet connection, such as dialup, or if you find an avatar or sig offensive or distracting (an animated .gif, for example). Default is off.Return to topics after posting by default.
Off means you return to the board menu after posting. (Example: after posting a reply to a message in Political Discussion, you will see the Political Discussion board menu.) On means that you will be returned instead to the thread within which you posted. Default is off.Don't warn on new replies made while posting.
You have the option of receiving a popup notification instantly if another user posts to a thread you are composing a post for. Default is on (No popup).Hide messages posted by members on my ignore list.
If you have an "ignore" list (Humphrey does not) you have the option of hiding unwanted messages from the undeserving miscreants on your list. Default is on.Show most recent posts at the top.
Selecting this option sorts posts from newest to oldest as you scroll down your screen. Default is off (oldest to newest).Show WYSIWYG editor on post page by default.
This option is designed to give you WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) display within the composition boxes. Depending on your browser, checking this option can give you fits. (Humphrey found that checking this option caused some code to be hidden in the composition boxes, making it impossible to edit, and caused raw code to appear in previews and posts. Humphrey was using Google Chrome at the time.) Because every composition box has a "Preview" button, Humphrey feels that this option is redundant, and recommends that you make sure this option is turned off. Until recently, the default was off. But because of recent changes in the CPF software and server, this option has been inadvertently turned on by default for many users. If you are seeing weird stuff in your posts, try deselecting this option.Choose Quick Reply Type
This setting affects the Quick Reply box that is available by default at the bottom of every thread page. If you think your setting may be causing problems or is not working properly, select "Non-WYSIWYG (standard)" and all will be well.Topics to display per pageMessages to display per pageFirst day of the week on the calendar
Humphrey suggests the forum defaults for the first two and Sunday for the third. Those are the defaults settings.Use quick reply on topic display
This option allows you to control the Quick Reply box located at the bottom of every thread page. The available settings are "show, off by default," "show, on by default," and "don't show at all." Recent changes have caused many users to find this option set to "show, on by default," meaning that the Quick Reply box is there and open all the time. Some users (Humphrey included, much to his chagrin) have found that this setting gives them fits, disabling the "Quote" feature and causing a mysterious orange-bordered bar to appear across the top of the screen that says, "Loading..." (Nothing ever seems to load.) To eliminate these problems, select either of the other two settings.Show quick-moderation as (don't show, checkboxes, icons.)
This last option gives you access to quick moderation functions (remove and lock topic) for your own posts. Default is "don't show."
Humphrey trusts that this information has perhaps helped you solve a problem or improve your experience on the CPF. If you need assistance or have questions about the forum or how to use the interface, please contact Humphrey or any of the other moderators or administrators directly, or click on the word "Help" in the main menu bar at the top of any page, or try the "Help" board available from the main CPF menu, or go to http://wiki.simplemachines.org/smf/Profile
for a more generic help manual.