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So frustrated and upset with ip.Board


davidmedina
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I am sure that ip.board is the best bulletin board software, but is soooo frustrating trying to figure out. And what they call documentation, well. sucks big time. It is written to tell me what it can do but not the how.

For example, I want to make a home page using ip.Content. Well it tells me I can do it but not how. Maybe it assumes that I know what I am doing, but i though that documentation is written for those who do not know what they are doing.

I know it can do what i need and want and it can do it better than any other solution out there, but I need to know HOW. You already sold it to me, I already paid the money, you do not need to keep telling me what it can do, but I want tro know HOW I can do it. Hey, sell me a book, a video, whatever, but HELP ME.

What I am doing is going in circles, wasting time and becoming discontent. To the poing that I am willing to trash my ip.board and loose the money I spend (close to $600) for vBulletin if it does what I need and can find the HOW. For what I have seen, they have much better documentation.

People, if you are going to charge twice as much as vBulletin I expect you to have twice as good documentation and help files. Honestly, what you have sucks big time. It has been next to useless. I probably have ten times more support tickets than anyone else because that is the only way I can get some help understanding the board.

Please, it is nice that you are ready to release a new version, but please, please, PLEASE, spent some time creating a decent manual. One that do not assume that whomever is reading it knows how to use the board. Making for beginners like me. take me by the hand. Show me that my investment was worth it.

Please!

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Alright, my huge bias towards IPB aside, ip.content lacks the proper documentation for beginner to intermediate users. But you are really exaggerating the problem. There is nothing wrong with all the other ip products because most are easy to use and have enough documentation, it's just ip.content.


Maybe you should add in this topic what exactly you need help with ip.content? Setting up a homepage is rather easy, you just upload 2 files into the home of your site and create an article. (this is dumbed down because I actually forget how I did it :P) Anyways, I will say it took me a while to just figure that out.
So what I'm saying is, just calm down, relax, take a deep breath and separate your problem from your rant.

With all this said.. I still can't find out how to add a <title> to the frontpage and it's driving me crazy. I know it's something ridiculously simple.. I just can't find it.

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  • Management

IPS really only supports IPB. Anything else they don't care as much about




I'm not sure that's a very reasonable statement. :) While IP.Board is our "core" product, we support all of our products and services equally.

I appreciate your concern and am sorry that you're having a difficult time getting started with IP.Content. It is a relatively new product that's still maturing. We've received a plethora of feedback which will be incorporated in a new release of IP.Content in the near future. We've also already begun revamping documentation as we agree, the present structure focuses more on what rather than how. We are indeed working on it. :)

Thank you for your feedback and as always, if you need specific assistance, feel free to submit a ticket or post in the appropriate forums.
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People, if you are going to charge twice as much as vBulletin I expect you to have twice as good documentation and help files.



That's not true. A new IP.Board license is $149 where as a new vB license is $195. However that's unimportant.

If you submit a ticket in the client area, I'd be willing to help you make IP.Content your default application.
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I can certainly understand your frustration in regards to the lack of any real documentation, tutorials, etc. What is called a tutorial is nothing but a bunch of code thrown at you without any code comments or in depth explanation of how it all works together. It's as if it's written with the idea that those reading it already know how the framework is set up, how the methods, api's, etc work. I have been coding with procedural php for a long time now, and I cannot wrap my head around how to start modding IPB. I know it's OOP, but it should really be documented so that those who are knew to OOP can pick it up or at least understand how it all works so we can start modifying it to suit our needs. I don't need anyone to teach me OOP, just a few tutorials showing me how to create a few mods with in-depth explanations would be all I would need. I have been checking out a new competitors site and was really impressed with their video tutorials on how to create modifications for their forum. These are newcomers to the forum world and they are already taking time to help people learn how to modify their scripts.

This is my only gripe with IPB, and it's been an issue for a few years now. I have stuck around hoping they would understand that some of us need a good tutorial with explanations on how it all works, but time after time it seems the documentation is written for those who are already fairly familiar with how to modify the IPB code and not for the complete IPB mod newb.

Anyway, I completely understand your frustration and am about to purchase a license from a competitor just to I can check it out and perhaps see if I can use it for what I need.

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I am sure that ip.board is the best bulletin board software, but is soooo frustrating trying to figure out. And what they call documentation, well. sucks big time. It is written to tell me what it can do but not the how.



For example, I want to make a home page using ip.Content. Well it tells me I can do it but not how. Maybe it assumes that I know what I am doing, but i though that documentation is written for those who do not know what they are doing.



I know it can do what i need and want and it can do it better than any other solution out there, but I need to know HOW. You already sold it to me, I already paid the money, you do not need to keep telling me what it can do, but I want tro know HOW I can do it. Hey, sell me a book, a video, whatever, but HELP ME.



What I am doing is going in circles, wasting time and becoming discontent. To the poing that I am willing to trash my ip.board and loose the money I spend (close to $600) for vBulletin if it does what I need and can find the HOW. For what I have seen, they have much better documentation.



People, if you are going to charge twice as much as vBulletin I expect you to have twice as good documentation and help files. Honestly, what you have sucks big time. It has been next to useless. I probably have ten times more support tickets than anyone else because that is the only way I can get some help understanding the board.



Please, it is nice that you are ready to release a new version, but please, please, PLEASE, spent some time creating a decent manual. One that do not assume that whomever is reading it knows how to use the board. Making for beginners like me. take me by the hand. Show me that my investment was worth it.



Please!




I've always felt the online documentation was pretty good:
http://community.invisionpower.com/resources/documentation/index.html?

Have you submitted a support ticket for help with what you are trying to do? Between the online documentation, the folks here, AND IPS technical support, I've had very little issues setting up and customizing my site.
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There was a long topic about documentation on IPB a while ago but it got locked along with all the other topics that are even slightly negative about Invision.




I'm sure there is another reason behind why it was locked. :) Don't think IPS is like that other company that locks topics for 'negative' or 'constructive' feedback. :)
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honestly i think it pretty widely agreed that IP.Content is for more advanced users. I'm not an advanced user, but pushed through it :) just keep sending in tickets, i mean you are paying for a service but let me give you a few tips, pages are made in a language like html etc, blocks go on pages to show information, you';; need to learn css divs etc to place everything where you want to

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That's not true. A new IP.Board license is $149 where as a new vB license is $195. However that's unimportant.



If you submit a ticket in the client area, I'd be willing to help you make IP.Content your default application.




Hey, I have been taking a lot of deep breath dealing with ip.content. I am just truly frustrated and tired of spinning my wheels. Please, understand I am not trying to put down the board. I think is the best one out there. I was and I am excited about what I may be able to do with it. One of the main reasons I choose ip.board over anything else was the ip.content (and Nexus).

I know my difficulty lay partly in that this is all new for me,and yes, I agree that ip.content is for more advance uses. I did and do expect to have a learning curve, I have no problem learning, I want to learn. And there lay my frustration, I can find a way to learn.

Kessler I do appreciate your offer to help. I just opened a new ticket and closed the old one. I love it if you can help me figure it out. It is great if you can do it for me, but it would be greater if you teach me how to do it. I will add more specificity and would love to discuss it further with you.

I basically want to use ip.content to be my website built around the board. Right now I have a Joomla website as website and the board as two separate entities. I want just one. I want to do away with the joomla website because I know I do not needed if I have ip.content. Truth be told, when I saw that the invisionpower website was built using ip.Content, I was sold with ip.Borad because I knew I could oa much better community with the tools ip.Board and addons offer..

My model is http://www.digitalweddingforum.com/. That is run using vBulletin but I know I can be much better looking with the ipBoard.

Some of the areas you won't have access because you need to be a member, but basically this is what I am trying to built.

1. A main page where I can post teasers about hot forum topics as well as news. At the top of the example site you will see a gallery slide show. I have that software so I just need to embed the code. I also need to place banner adds, in top and bootom (I have nexus). If you look at my website you will see more of less what I am trying to do (www.fplaonline.com).

2. I need a page where I can have videos. you will see the in sample website that they have something call DWF U.

3. Plus the other type of pages you expect to see in a website (about, contact, etc.)
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IP.B IMO has one of the worst developer experiences i have ever had. No documentation, Very few Tutorials, A very overly complex system. It is really just a nightmare to wrap your head around.


IP.Content, however, Is actually fairly simple to use


I figure I will go over the basics of setting up a homepage.

This homepage will have 2 sections:
1) a news section
2) a reviews section

Setting up a page.


When creating a homepage The first thing you are going to want to do is create a "Page".
Simply click on IP.Content under "my apps" and you will automatically be brought to your list of pages.


%7Boption%7D






Fill out your details the way YOU want.
I would suggest using the IPB wrapper or else you may find yourself in some trouble.

%7Boption%7D






In your Content add the following:


echo '

{ccs special_tag="navigation"}

{parse articles}

';


The only line in here that you really need to pay attention to is {parse articles}.
Remember this because I am going to talk about this in more detail later.



Cacheing you can leave blank if you'd like. You can play around with that when you become more advanced.



Permissions is pretty self explainatory.


and when you get to your finish page you will find your link. go to that page and hold on to it because we are going to be using it for testing.


Playing with the article settings

So IPS has done something pretty nice for us. They have done almost all the work for us as far as getting the news articles to the homepage.

The only think you will likely have to touch in "article Configuration" is the permissions. also be sure to look at "manage editors" if you are having further permission trouble.

Therefore, First thing you may want to look into is the Promote article settings. This puts a very nice button at the bottom of every post this will help you promote news articles that members post on your board straight to your homepage!
%7Boption%7D



After that go to " manage categories". Add a category for each news and reviews. (feel free to delete the crap IPB puts there)





Looking at your homepage you will likely see a large amount of formatting issues and other crap like that.

Therefore, we are going to skip the rest of the article section and pay attention to the "templates"
Click article templates,

We are going to add our own template.


IMO the only two settings here are the Frontpage template and the View template.


The frontpage template is where all of your articles will be listed. In this example there will be 3 major places where you will see this template.


1) the outermost front page.
2) The front page of your news section.
3) The front page of your reviews section.



View Templates are what You see when you are viewing an article.

Incase you aren't exactly getting it think of hierarchy like this.

Homepage > Section view > Article view

This is much like how your IPB board already goes

Board Index > Forum view > Topic view



In this example we are going to create one universal frontpage for all the sections, and one for the view article template


This is where I need to let you do your own creativity. This is the actually design that your homepage will follow.


If you want to change the CSS you can go to your look and feel tab. Pick your skin and find the CSS tab.


There are two MAJOR CSS files that are imported.
One is your IP.Content css file known as ipcontent.css
The other; ipb_styles.css


ipb_styles is what is used universally used on your board already. Therefore, you can easily grab design concepts from your forum. Alternatively, If you have something that you want to use only on your IPC files. Then edit the IPContent CSS.

Yes, you can get away with putting everything in ipb_styles.css, however, since this CSS file is also used for you IP.Board it doesn't make sense to put all that unneeded CSS into that file.



IPB automatically assigns your most recent articles into the array $data['records'].

If you want to access the first article you would do so by calling
$data['records'][0]

second article
$data['records'][1]


and so on and so forth.

Each article has several elements to it. Such as, a title, a URL, a content body.

So say we wanted to access the first articles title.
we would call

$data['records'][0]['article_title']


OR

$data['records'][0]['record_link']




Accessing the content body is a little different. While one could just call

$data['records'][0]['article_body']

Most people would probably want to only display a certain amount of text from that article. Therefore we are going to have to do some trimming


{IPSText::truncate( strip_tags( IPSText::stripAttachTag( IPSText::getTextClass('bbcode')->stripAllTags( $data['records'][0]['article_body'] ) ), '<br>' ), 255 )}

This method will first stripp all the BBcode out of the variable (images and other formatting will likely screwup your homepage display)

Then we are going to trim the first 255 chars from that string and display it.


After you finish styleing your templates you will have to assign them to be used.



For the homepage go to "front page manager" and set that frontpage to use your new frontpage template.

After that go to your categories and set them both to use the same template.

Lastly go to "article configuration" expand templates and set the article view to your new article view.








Blocks (for real customization)

Blocks are by far IPS's greatest invention they have ever made. Using blocks almost eliminates having to deal with IPBs faecesty application development system.



There are 3 block types

I haven't played with plugins very much sorry :/

But the other two i have.

feeds are very nice as they will pull data from a variety of places. if your php isn't great and you want to do something quick feeds are great


However, Custom blocks are what make IPContent the greatest thing IPC has done.

At first they may not seem like anything special until you learn that you can query the database strait from one of these blocks. (read and write)


What we are going to do is create a moc tagging system for our homepage.



For starters we will need to create the field for tags.
Go to "manage fields" under articles and add an input field.



Now what we are going to do in our PHP.


First we are going to query the database




--- Sorry i ran out of time But I'll finish this off later :(

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That's actually a martian proverb but who's keeping track?




Regrettably I lost the original recordings of the proverb... :-(

http://wiki.answers....imself_for_life

"Give a man a fish and he won't starve for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he won't starve for his entire life."



Regrettably, the origin of this quote is unknown, although it is generally cited as being Chinese. Over the years, the quote has been misattributed to Confucius, Lao Tzu, Laozi, and Guan Zhong.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You can add me to the list of frustrated customers who have begged for years for IPB to produce a user manual or guide. My car came with a user manual, my smart phone came with a user manual, my digital camera came with a manual and all of those items are far more user intuitive then this piece of software.

Lindy, rather than provide us lip service how about providing us a coherent,usable,functional user manual. That would be the best tool to give your CUSTOMERS satisfaction, confidence and support. Like it or not, a company’s user documentation (or lack thereof) is a reflection on the company itself. To me, putting out a great product and not providing everyone with step by step instructions on how everything can function is nothing short of disastrous. Virtually everything that I have learned about what this software is capable of doing I have learned from other members sites. And that is not right.

Please take this constructively, IMHO IPB should invest in an all-out effort in user manual development the same way they have invested in the new 3.2 board development.

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I have to agree with many of the sentiments here. I just searched for portal (for example ) in documentation, the answer was "no results" I do find that hard to believe. Maybe the keywords I use are not correct, but portal should turn up something.

I do not run commercial forums, however due to the complexity of the forums to NEW members (who may have been weaned on facebook for example) it is a whole new boardgame. I write as many help guides as I feel necessary, but still many find even completing their profile difficult.

Matt recently introduced a video system to guide us along. They helped me in particular. I have now started to do the same and the result has been 100% better. Now I realise that at this present moment in time the IPS staff must be working overtime. However can I suggest that a feature such as this would be of enormous help. How many have a better experience from looking at the few Youtube video, I have.

Either way, a comprehensive overhaul of the documentation,tutorials etc.. would (I believe) be a great step forward to ending topics like this. I would love "content" but I am afraid that the coding and other scripts ? are way beyond my knowledge in it's present format. That I'll just have to accept :cry:

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When I started out about 6 years ago with IPB 2 there was an excellent book available to buy that took you through installing and setting up your forum and customizing. Something like that should be produced again that people can download in one hit rather than trying to search the resource section on keywords that they may no know. That would help many people out getting going.

3DKiwi

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Im going to be honest. I thought content was a good idea so i went a blew 100 bucks on it. Atleast thats how much it used to cost, im not sure about the price now... Honestly, it was such a big waste of crap, it is not worth the money. It is a pain in the ass to setup, its not easy to use or configure and i would rather write up an application for more specific things then use Content. In fact, i already do write my own applications for all custom pages i require because content was horrible. Now, i realize how bad im saying content is but that is because i have my own custom application (Pretty much same as Content) which does the job, better, faster, stronger and no bullfaeces. Easy to setup, all pages content is managed via skin templates (Just to give you an idea of what you can do with different skins since IPB is fantastic about that) You can even use Skins for different miniwebsites within one... haha, ive always wanted to do that but never had enough time to... maybe ill do that sometime soon!

Anyway, content is not worth 100 bucks. Ive seen people take content to a different level but its still not good enough for the price and hassle which is why i use my custom application and removed content. ;)

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I have to agree with many of the sentiments here. I just searched for portal (for example ) in documentation, the answer was "no results" I do find that hard to believe. Maybe the keywords I use are not correct, but portal should turn up something.




Perhaps it is because portal is now a third party mod - you can find it in the marketplace. The 3.2 version is now in beta testing.
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IP.B IMO has one of the worst developer experiences i have ever had. No documentation, Very few Tutorials, A very overly complex system. It is really just a nightmare to wrap your head around.




IP.Content, however, Is actually fairly simple to use




I figure I will go over the basics of setting up a homepage.



This homepage will have 2 sections:


1) a news section


2) a reviews section



[size=6][color=#ff0000]Setting up a page.[/color][/size]




[size=5]When creating a homepage The first thing you are going to want to do is create a "Page".[/size]


[size=5]Simply click on IP.Content under "my apps" and you will automatically be brought to your list of pages.[/size]




[img]

[/img]








[size=5]Fill out your details the way YOU want.[/size]


[size=5]I would suggest using the IPB wrapper or else you may find yourself in some trouble.[/size]



[img]

[/img]








[size=5]In your Content add the following:[/size]


echo ' {ccs special_tag="navigation"} {parse articles} ';







The only line in here that you really need to pay attention to is {parse articles}.
Remember this because I am going to talk about this in more detail later.



Cacheing you can leave blank if you'd like. You can play around with that when you become more advanced.



Permissions is pretty self explainatory.


and when you get to your finish page you will find your link. go to that page and hold on to it because we are going to be using it for testing.


Playing with the article settings

So IPS has done something pretty nice for us. They have done almost all the work for us as far as getting the news articles to the homepage.

The only think you will likely have to touch in "article Configuration" is the permissions. also be sure to look at "manage editors" if you are having further permission trouble.

Therefore, First thing you may want to look into is the Promote article settings. This puts a very nice button at the bottom of every post this will help you promote news articles that members post on your board straight to your homepage!




After that go to " manage categories". Add a category for each news and reviews. (feel free to delete the crap IPB puts there)





Looking at your homepage you will likely see a large amount of formatting issues and other crap like that.

Therefore, we are going to skip the rest of the article section and pay attention to the "templates"
Click article templates,

We are going to add our own template.


IMO the only two settings here are the Frontpage template and the View template.


The frontpage template is where all of your articles will be listed. In this example there will be 3 major places where you will see this template.


1) the outermost front page.
2) The front page of your news section.
3) The front page of your reviews section.



View Templates are what You see when you are viewing an article.

Incase you aren't exactly getting it think of hierarchy like this.

Homepage > Section view > Article view

This is much like how your IPB board already goes

Board Index > Forum view > Topic view



In this example we are going to create one universal frontpage for all the sections, and one for the view article template


This is where I need to let you do your own creativity. This is the actually design that your homepage will follow.


If you want to change the CSS you can go to your look and feel tab. Pick your skin and find the CSS tab.


There are two MAJOR CSS files that are imported.
One is your IP.Content css file known as ipcontent.css
The other; ipb_styles.css


ipb_styles is what is used universally used on your board already. Therefore, you can easily grab design concepts from your forum. Alternatively, If you have something that you want to use only on your IPC files. Then edit the IPContent CSS.

Yes, you can get away with putting everything in ipb_styles.css, however, since this CSS file is also used for you IP.Board it doesn't make sense to put all that unneeded CSS into that file.



IPB automatically assigns your most recent articles into the array $data['records'].

If you want to access the first article you would do so by calling
$data['records'][0]

second article
$data['records'][1]


and so on and so forth.

Each article has several elements to it. Such as, a title, a URL, a content body.

So say we wanted to access the first articles title.
we would call

$data['records'][0]['article_title']


OR

$data['records'][0]['record_link']




Accessing the content body is a little different. While one could just call

$data['records'][0]['article_body']

Most people would probably want to only display a certain amount of text from that article. Therefore we are going to have to do some trimming


{IPSText::truncate( strip_tags( IPSText::stripAttachTag( IPSText::getTextClass('bbcode')->stripAllTags( $data['records'][0]['article_body'] ) ), '<br>' ), 255 )}

This method will first stripp all the BBcode out of the variable (images and other formatting will likely screwup your homepage display)

Then we are going to trim the first 255 chars from that string and display it.


After you finish styleing your templates you will have to assign them to be used.



For the homepage go to "front page manager" and set that frontpage to use your new frontpage template.

After that go to your categories and set them both to use the same template.

Lastly go to "article configuration" expand templates and set the article view to your new article view.








Blocks (for real customization)

Blocks are by far IPS's greatest invention they have ever made. Using blocks almost eliminates having to deal with IPBs faecesty application development system.



There are 3 block types

I haven't played with plugins very much sorry :/

But the other two i have.

feeds are very nice as they will pull data from a variety of places. if your php isn't great and you want to do something quick feeds are great


However, Custom blocks are what make IPContent the greatest thing IPC has done.

At first they may not seem like anything special until you learn that you can query the database strait from one of these blocks. (read and write)


What we are going to do is create a moc tagging system for our homepage.



For starters we will need to create the field for tags.
Go to "manage fields" under articles and add an input field.



Now what we are going to do in our PHP.


First we are going to query the database




--- Sorry i ran out of time But I'll finish this off later :sad:



Thank you, it would help many others if this was done long ago.... many users have the same trouble....
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