chainBB beta update - account pages, editing, notifications and sticky posts

29 days ago
69 in chainbb

Over the last couple weeks I've been engaging heavily in discussion with those providing feedback about chainBB. I'm going to try to start bundling changes together and providing updates maybe once or twice a week. The rate of development may cause this to fluctuate, but things are progressing nicely!

The updates today are primarily foundational. They are elements that need to exist so I can build upon them and expand their functionality, as well as collect feedback.

If you've got ideas about what's missing, needs changed or something you'd like to see... reach out.

What's a chainBB?

If this is the first time you've stumbled across one of these posts and aren't sure what chainBB is, here's a short breakdown:

chainBB is a forum-style website that works on the Steem blockchain (the same as steemit.com). It's designed to encourage discussion and engagement by surfacing content that people are responding to, much like a traditional discussion forum would.

I'd also invite you to read the chainBB.com announcement post, and even finish reading this very post on beta.chainbb.com! Through the magic of the blockchain, all content within the Steem blockchain is shared between steemit and chainBB.

Changes - TLDR

  • Forums can have "Sticky Posts" now!
  • Account Pages (/@username)
    • Posts: displays posts by this user
    • Responses: displays responses to posts by this user
  • Tooltips for Accounts on mouse hover
  • Post/Response Editing
    • Pencil icon button near the reply button
  • Mobile Optimizations
    • Page layout improvements for small devices
    • Sign-in button now on the homepage at the top
  • Added reply form to the bottom of each thread
    • Will automatically reply to the OP, preventing you from having to quote someone.
  • In-page Notifications
    • on events:
      • creating a new post or reply
      • editing a post or reply

Visual Walkthrough


Account Pages

https://steemdb.com/chainbb/07.png

Clicking on someone's account name no longer directs you to steemit.com, but instead a page on chainBB with that user's profile and their activity. This page has a number of features still missing and more will be added to it in the coming weeks.

The default page is Posts, which shows posts authored by that user. This does not include resteems.

You can click on any of the posts to jump directly to them, or use the small navigation above the posts to switch informational pages.

Here's an example of an account page, using my account.


Account Pages - Responses

https://steemdb.com/chainbb/08.png

The second page for accounts is responses, which shows the accounts replies to posts. The title of the post the user responded to is shown, along with the time that the reply was left. Clicking on the title of the post will change to that post, and jump directly to the response selected.


Sticky Posts within Forums

https://steemdb.com/chainbb/06.png

If you've ever used a forum before, the concept of a sticky post shouldn't be anything foreign.

A Sticky Post is a post that get's stuck to the top of a forum because it's important or contains information that everyone should read. These can be useful as guidelines, rules, important announcements or events.

These posts are indicated by the "Pin" symbol next to them.

Currently only I can set a sticky post in a forum, but the plan is to allow the owners/moderators of each forum to decide if/when one or more sticky posts are needed.

The General Discussion has a sticky post stuck to the top and shows the Welcome Post I wrote a few days ago. This post is also a sticky post within the chainBB.com Discussion forum.


"Reply to Thread" form at the bottom of each thread

https://steemdb.com/chainbb/01.png

At the bottom of each thread I've included a post form so you don't have to scroll all the way to the top if you just want to reply to the thread.


Thread Activity Indicators

https://steemdb.com/chainbb/02.png

Each thread now has a small area for an activity indicator. These indicators measure the level of engagement for that thread. If there has been no responses yet, the area is left empty.

The image above shows the 3 levels of engagement I currently have setup.


Editing Posts

https://steemdb.com/chainbb/03.png

Clicking the Pencil Icon button near the reply button on one of your posts will change the display to show an editor where the post used to be. This works just like posting, you can change any of the information and submit the post to update it.


In-page Notifications System

https://steemdb.com/chainbb/04.png

I've found a notifications library I rather like (Noty) and have begun integrating in-browser notifications for chainBB. Currently only two events display notifications:

  • Successful submission of a new Post or Response
  • Successful editing of a post or response

These notifications will disappear after a few seconds (visual progress bar shows on the bottom) and if you move your mouse over it, it will halt the countdown and remain there until you move your mouse away.

Also, if chainBB is not your active window, the notification will not count down, and remain until you have a chance to see it.

Clicking on the notification or the "X" will immediately dismiss it.

The plan for this in-browser notification system is to show activity related to the blockchain, to your account, and any other important information that might happen elsewhere that you need to be alerted to.

After notifications are working well, this system will also be expanded to include desktop notifications and be configurable within your user preferences (which doesn't exist yet).


Tooltips on Accounts

https://steemdb.com/chainbb/05.png

When you hover over an account name or avatar (or tap on mobile), a tooltip will appear for that account. These tooltips are somewhat plain right now, but in the future will display information about the user and give you an opportunity to interact with them directly (follow, block, etc).


What's next?

  • Additional Profile Information on the accounts pages
  • Adding interactivity + information to the account tooltips
  • Integrating a few of the minor social features from the Steem blockchain.
  • Finding a set of servers somewhere to run the production build of chainBB, and determining an easy way to spin up new instances.
  • Building a system to foster community support around new forums. I don't like arbitrarily deciding myself what deserves a forum and what doesn't. This system will allow the submission of ideas and then a metric to gather community approval in order to show support.
  • A lot of optimization work and refactoring of the frontend code, as well as documentation. A lot of it was assembled rather quickly and needs some cleanup time devoted to it.
  • Working on the long-term plans of chainBB and assembling it into a comprehensive document.
  • Building out chainbb.com, which will be a website explaining what the platform is and how it can help you build out a community.

Thanks to everyone who has participated so far, your support has been invaluable and I appreciate your time and enthusiasm!

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Sort Order:  trending
55
  ·  24 days ago

Wow thank you for this update :) What do you think, are much Steemians using chainbb ?

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69
  ·  24 days ago

There's a handful, and the number is slowly growing from the looks of it. Most people just aren't aware of it's existence and some aren't interested in the topics covered thus far. We'll fix those as time goes on ;)

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55
  ·  24 days ago

I belive in it :)

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47
  ·  21 days ago

Been reading these threads avidly. Great work!
And I have a number of questions - been wondering whether to start each as a new thread so that discussions are quite specific.

In this case, re new top-level subject forums, I think if people look into a restaurant and see it's empty, most won't go in. Same here, I feel. People will come and participate if they see forums they find interesting.

Do you have a mechanism and schedule for setting up new subjects, including choice of mods etc?

73
  ·  29 days ago

Great progress, keep it up brother... It is really coming together with multiple new features daily :)
I wonder if we can have eSteem project discussion board as well to track feedback and announcement posts?!

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69
  ·  28 days ago

I'm trying to hold off creating one for every single project until I know there's a community on chainBB willing to use it :)

For now though, that's exactly what the Community Project Updates forum is for, and I have #esteem loaded up as one of the tags to watch :)

63
  ·  19 days ago

I just posted under beer and my post disappeared! I spent an hour on that :/ Can you find it somewhere in the ether!? Is this the right thread for such questions?

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69
  ·  19 days ago
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63
  ·  19 days ago

I posted my last one twice. I hope It won't double now! I'll try to delete if it does. I am quite sure i clicked on the right stuff although I'm no expert! Thanks for the quick reply!

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63
  ·  19 days ago

It is fine now, thanks! I only noticed my tags didn't appear, only the first one.

58
  ·  21 days ago

There is a few things missing from the board. No art. No photography. No introduce yourself.

Probably more categories as well. Is it just a matter of implementing it in the web front end?

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69
  ·  20 days ago

Yup, just a matter of figuring out where the demand is and creating those forums by hand.

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58
  ·  20 days ago

That's what I thought. Reading steem this way has it's advantages when all you want is to comment and drain the vote power. I keep switching back and forth. It's really nice to use on the mobile phone. But i missed the art and photo section.

69
  ·  26 days ago

Is there a way to make sure the thumbnails are pulled into reddit when linking to chainbb.com?

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69
  ·  26 days ago

Yeah, I believe so. There's a specific set of meta tags that needs to be added in the chainBB codebase to get that working.

I've opened a github issue to make sure it happens.

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62
  ·  26 days ago

You know. I wonder about this stuff. And sometimes I just think it's a glitch. Could it just be a glitch? I share my posts on facebook. Sometimes a picture comes up. Sometimes it doesn't. It's different all the time. Then again, maybe i have no idea what i'm talking about. :)

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61
  ·  25 days ago

We can only trust in our technological priesthood to guide us towards the truth. :-D

51
  ·  27 days ago

@jesta, a small question about ChainBB integration with Steemit: do new ChainBB posts get to Created and do my followers see them in their feeds? In other words, should I take care of giving to my ChainBB posts enough context to make them understandable for those reading them via Steemit only?

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69
  ·  27 days ago

A new post written on chainBB will show up on your followers feeds like any other post. They will be able to read it, vote on it and comment it from steemit.com or chainBB.com.

Steemit and chainBB are just different ways to look at the same data. You don't have to promote chainBB at all in your posts if you don't want to.

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51
  ·  27 days ago

Thanks! :)

62
  ·  29 days ago

Hey @jesta,

Finding a set of servers somewhere to run the production build of chainBB, and determining an easy way to spin up new instances.

Hadn't a look at your code so far, but in most cases the best answer to this is AWS + Docker. If you need help feel free to ping me :) This project has to become big!

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69
  ·  28 days ago

That'd be ideal - I just worry it'd end up costing me a fortune to run the servers.

I'm going to need a fast steemd full node on a dedicated host (which will consume ~40gb RAM) and a small-ish DB server (8gb RAM probably) to start. As it grows the DB servers for the indexes will likely need to be some sort of cluster.

Luckily the frontend is all JS, so I can just toss that on cloudfront :)

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62
  ·  28 days ago

Haha :D I would have the same fear if you would pay for the traffic as this project could cause a lot of it :P

But actually you can pay for each hour:
AWSPrice
Source

And you can stop the servers immediatly if the costs are getting too high.


I actually do not know what your future goals are, but if this becomes more than a "fun-project" for you and you are going to fund a company you could think about adding google ads between the posts. At least ~2 years ago finance and crypto ads got paid really really good because there are not that much sites available. This paired with some steemit update posts should cover the costs for sure.

Thanks for replying and best regards,

@dez1337

69
  ·  29 days ago

Wow, you added quite a bit of functionality. Truly you are going at a frenzied pace! These are fairly significant upgrades that parallel what is possible with some of the better BB's I have been on. Fantastic job man. Looking forward to seeing where this takes you, and for the first group out there to implement this as their BB software.

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50
  ·  28 days ago

ok

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69
  ·  29 days ago

Thanks! The next few weeks will be a bit slower, just because it'll be non-visible work for the most part, and I can't wait for the first real website to get deployed out on the chainBB platform too!

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49
  ·  29 days ago

you like it, right?

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69
  ·  29 days ago

Chain BB? Yeah I have posted through it a few times and it works great. Jesta is making progress by leaps and bounds as to adding functionality, however I think its true test will be when an outside group wants to implement it as their standard BB for what ever their purpose is. That will be a really big moment for STEEM and ChainBB alike.

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69
  ·  29 days ago

In fact let me respond to myself through ChainBB. The sleek GUI that jesta is using is something that I also really love about it.

61
  ·  29 days ago

Great job @jesta, I've noticed some of these changes and you are really getting on these things quick. For me, just an average online user, the profile pages, notifications, and editing posts & comments, these are all HUGE items. Keep up the good work dude! Can't wait to see where this all goes.

54
  ·  29 days ago

Upvoted from ChainBB and now commenting from ChainBB! This is incredible work, @jesta! I'm so excited to use ChainBB and watch it grow! Thank you again!

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69
  ·  29 days ago

Thanks! With beta projects like this, I love nothing more than to rapidly evolve the interface and share that with everyone participating. There's likely to be bumps along the way due to the rapid nature of development, but it's fun to watch it evolve rather than waiting for stable releases sometimes :)

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54
  ·  29 days ago

Honestly, the platform is so beautiful and functional already it looks like something with years of work put into it. For a beta project, it's pretty insane how well it runs already!

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69
  ·  29 days ago

Haha thanks - well, I've had almost a year of learning how to work with Steem at this point, so we'll give that experience some credit ;)

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54
  ·  26 days ago

@jesta, here is a project that I've finished working on:

https://steemit.com/steem-project/@zcgolf16/project-announcement-steemticker-osx-a-simple-steem-price-ticker-for-osx-toolbar

Please let me know what you think and please upvote if you like it so potential users can see it!

51
  ·  29 days ago

Looks great! The only point which wasn't crystal clear to me is post activity arrows. At first sight I misinterpreted two arrows for the indicator of highest activity.

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69
  ·  29 days ago

Yeah, they aren't the best visual representations, they were just something I had available and using Font Awesome. Any ideas on what a good indicator would be? I suppose I could use color/size as well.

47
  ·  29 days ago

really nice to see those additions / changes to chainBB. this'll certainly help it feel more fleshed-out

69
  ·  29 days ago

Hello from chainBB :)

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69
  ·  29 days ago

Why hello good sir! Hope you enjoy ;)

62
  ·  25 days ago

Super interesting. Good luck with it all. Looking forward to more and sharing this with @Steemtrail.

54
  ·  18 days ago

I support the project, but may I have a suggestion which is having a following tab in chainbb? Such that I don't have to such the post for my following person from steemit.

50
  ·  18 days ago

I'll try not to make too much noise while I stumble around over here in the corner.

67
  ·  29 days ago

Excellent post!

Thanks for sharing all this informative content and educate us on the subject. Looking forward to seeing the results of your unwrapping. It looks awesome so far! Namaste :)

65
  ·  28 days ago

hi from chainbb. this interface looks so neat.

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65
  ·  28 days ago

test. just checking

65
  ·  28 days ago

Congratulations @jesta!
Your post was mentioned in my hit parade in the following category:

  • Pending payout - Ranked 2 with $ 900,4
60
  ·  29 days ago

Oh Wow! Upvoted

65
  ·  18 days ago

The new categories added looks really good! :)

52
  ·  29 days ago

Oh Wow! You have been busy! Very busy! Love it

60
  ·  27 days ago

About damn time we have some sticky posts! Been calling for this on Steemit from day one.

It makes sense to me that the most "stickied" posts would have their own form of trending (popular) page. IMO, it's only these most stickied posts that should be kept visible for a week or more.

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64
  ·  27 days ago

Agreed, stickies are a big step. It feels like we will all be waiting for the introduction of Steem communities so we can really move forward with the forum-style Steem experience.

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69
  ·  27 days ago

I don't think stickies will be included in the initial release of communities unfortunately. I haven't seen anything in regards to them, though it'd be a good move! Reddit has stickies too, so we know it works :)

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69
  ·  27 days ago

I think it's really up to the moderators of each forum (which is just me at the moment) to control what is sticky and what is not, and how long they are stickied. I'm pretty much planning on keeping the latest release notes stickied on the top of the chainBB forum, and I might leave the sticky post in General Discussion for a long time.

I'm not sure how a trending stickied page would work, unless stickies themselves were dynamic based on some sort of criteria.

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60
  ·  27 days ago

That's cool and completely understandable, considering it's right in line with how stickies work in pretty much every forum (well, every forum I've ever used). I really like the idea of having this applied to Steemit/ ChainBB content.

For Steemit, I've been yearning for a "bookmarks" feature for each account. This would make it convenient for all Steemit users to save their favorite posts. As far as the "most stickied" post trending page goes, my idea is to have the content with the most favorites (bookmarks) for the last X days remain there for Y amount of time.

Even if the content remains on the page beyond the payout period, it still acts as an advertisement to the quality of work for the author that made it, not to mention it benefits the whole community to have the highest quality content remain visible the longest.

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69
  ·  27 days ago

Social bookmarking could be an awesome feature for steem :)

50
  ·  28 days ago

nice...resteem and upvote for your post....

53
  ·  29 days ago

Great post, keep it up ...!!! @jesta

46
  ·  28 days ago

great changes... :) Will you be adding categories and sub categories? Also are you planning on steem related Tapatalk like apps for multiple forums in future? I think it would be fantastic... :)

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69
  ·  28 days ago

Hrm subcategories would be a great idea. I'll add that to the list of things I need to explore!

As for Tapatalk like apps - I don't have plans right now. If I had a decent sized team, I'd probably devote part of it to building one, but in the mean time it's going to be all web-based.

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46
  ·  28 days ago

Cool.. will wait for it.. :) this is a fantastic thing you are doing for the community... :) Ill keep sharing more ideas when they strike.. ;)
Here is a post i had made on steem ideas, i hope u like them... :)

https://steemit.com/steem/@veerall/is-steemtube-steembook-steemstagram-etc-in-making

64
  ·  29 days ago

Do you even sleep? Lol
You're a beast with projects. ChainBB is awesome :D

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69
  ·  28 days ago

Not as much as I probably should hah

46
  ·  28 days ago

Gracias por su post, asi evolucionamos más rápido

58
  ·  29 days ago

Thanks for all your work here!

59
  ·  29 days ago

This looks awesome. Forum based on Steem blockchain = Win

49
  ·  29 days ago

Its great to see all this progress.

53
  ·  29 days ago

In page notification system is what i like

49
  ·  29 days ago

Love it !

45
  ·  29 days ago

i like your posting