Forum Non Convenience
Services | 11 July 2010 |
I’ve said this before, and I’m not the only one: the MT Forums is the clunkiest, most bizarre, user-unfriendly community service conceivable. To call it a ‘service’ is to give it credit it does little to earn.
First of all, sometimes it uses Markdown. Sometimes it doesn’t. It’s not easy to figure out how to do links. It’s even tougher to figure out how to push out code (use Markdown; indent by eight spaces or more; but do you convert the
>s or not? Who knows?). There’s no preview for an originating post or new topic — take your chances, chum.
The search is ridiculous. Enter a term and you get a long, long list. At the bottom there’s an indication of more pages. There aren’t any. You can’t search by author. You can’t filter by date. There’s no concept of anyone moderating the forums or putting things where they should be so everything is everywhere.
It gets worse. Hit archives and you get a listing — by date. Duh? WTF? Who the heck is going to trawl through years of monthly archives to find something you need?
Oh, yes. There’s no spam control. None. Zip. Zilch. De nada. But there is an excuse, oops, explanation. Something about people using real accounts and therefore being trusted commenters by default. Here’s the thing about defaults: they can be changed. Anything else?
How do you edit a previous post, something that’s easily done on anything run on phpBB? You can’t. You have to log in. Then you have the pleasure of scrolling through and endless list (use the filters). You can also write a new entry here — so you don’t actually have to go the forums to post. What?
And it’s populated by some of the rudest people around, people whose approach is to say something like “Well buddy, nobody held a gun to your head, and besides we’re doing this free so show a little appreciation and bugger off” or things like that.
Hello? I came here looking for help. What do I find? A frustrating interface that, in and of itself, tells me that I’m insignificant and my worries, concerns and questions more so.
To call that a service or a forum is to do violence to the language.