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​Yes you can. You do not need the forums app installed to run the Suite.

That's very cool. ​So the focus of the product has changed from virtually completely forum focused to trying to expand IPS to being equal, self-contained products. But this seems to make the IPS 4 approach quite different than IPB 3+ modules, as most existing communities are probably heavily focused and dependent upon the forums. 

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That's very cool. ​So the focus of the product has changed from virtually completely forum focused to trying to expand IPS to being equal, self-contained products. But this seems to make the IPS 4 approach quite different than IPB 3+ modules, as most existing communities are probably heavily focused and dependent upon the forums. 

​Well yes, but that is something that was announced near the beginning of 4.0 information releases.

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​Well yes, but that is something that was announced near the beginning of 4.0 information releases.

​Yes, it was. But since it was decided not to discuss decisions regarding the creation of IPS 4 with existing site owners during development, admins couldn't really discuss how significant departures in concept might affect their communities. IPS 4 seems to exhibit a narrow approach, best suited to serve a certain types of communities well. But it doesn't seem to accommodate a broad set of existing variations and include options. I think that a number of IPB3 sites going to IPS 4 will feel like trying to figure out how well the result will be in trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. If these items were planned with options, transition would be easier. Things like Friends and most especially post count represents a major departure from expectations at most communities. Not allowing site owners to determine a priority as to which type of content they feel is of most importance to promote and display is a conspicuous limitation and impacting. A great example is an experts forum that prioritizes forum posts but now has user galleries -- which is meant to be just a sideshow -- to have equal importance. And does anyone in these type of text based discussion forums really care about the total number of images + posts someone has or just their posts in the forum? Seems awkward. 

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That's very cool. ​So the focus of the product has changed from virtually completely forum focused to trying to expand IPS to being equal, self-contained products. But this seems to make the IPS 4 approach quite different than IPB 3+ modules, as most existing communities are probably heavily focused and dependent upon the forums. 

 

You're right -- many are centered around the forums, but many don't want that to be the case anymore. I don't want to speak for @CheersnGears - but his site seems to largely revolve around IP.Content (now Pages) and I'd bet it's been a struggle to work around the confines of IP.Board wanting to have its way as the true core. In IPS4, you don't even need the forums app and even if you want it, it doesn't have to be the centerpiece that all content revolves around. 

There's many that do "just forums." We decided to break away from that in the sense that while there's still a strong market for forums, it's not a sustainable market for IPS if that's all we were to do and focus on. Most come to IPS for the suite these days and that's what we're going to focus on a complete and true community solution. 

It will, however, take some time for longtime users to adapt but if we stop seeing "forums" and see "community" (even if the forums app is the only app you have) - I feel it will make better sense. 

​That said, remember, IP.Board isn't dead. If your site is more suited for IPB 3.4 then there's really no reason to upgrade right away - though we're only going to do critical updates for IP.Board.

 

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I sincerely think the decision "not" to give the "communities" the decision on whether or not certain applications allow post incrementation or not is severely narrow minded and a case of saying "we know best and this is how it will be for everyone"

I purchased the licence and I maintain the site, however, the other staff are severely pissed as this news and understandably so. So our decision going forward and whether we upgrade to V4 or stay on 3.4 and potentially switch suppliers, depends on whether or not this small request is implemented or not. We won't stay on a board that will only receive critical updates.

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You're right -- many are centered around the forums, but many don't want that to be the case anymore. I don't want to speak for @CheersnGears - but his site seems to largely revolve around IP.Content (now Pages) and I'd bet it's been a struggle to work around the confines of IP.Board wanting to have its way as the true core. In IPS4, you don't even need the forums app and even if you want it, it doesn't have to be the centerpiece that all content revolves around.

There's many that do "just forums." We decided to break away from that in the sense that while there's still a strong market for forums, it's not a sustainable market for IPS if that's all we were to do and focus on. Most come to IPS for the suite these days and that's what we're going to focus on a complete and true community solution.

It will, however, take some time for longtime users to adapt but if we stop seeing "forums" and see "community" (even if the forums app is the only app you have) - I feel it will make better sense.

​That said, remember, IP.Board isn't dead. If your site is more suited for IPB 3.4 then there's really no reason to upgrade right away - though we're only going to do critical updates for IP.Board.

 

​Yes you can. You do not need the forums app installed to run the Suite.

​Charles or Lindy, perhaps you can answer this(if you haven't).

With the new content count, it's no longer just post count. I believe I read things like PM don't count...which is good, if so. But do things like Chat(Both Public and Private) chat count? I 'd assume not....but just clarifying.

Also do things like posting statuses and their comments count to a users content count?

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I sincerely think the decision "not" to give the "communities" the decision on whether or not certain applications allow post incrementation or not is severely narrow minded and a case of saying "we know best and this is how it will be for everyone"

I purchased the licence and I maintain the site, however, the other staff are severely pissed as this news and understandably so. So our decision going forward and whether we upgrade to V4 or stay on 3.4 and potentially switch suppliers, depends on whether or not this small request is implemented or not. We won't stay on a board that will only receive critical updates.

We've not made any decision and we said we'd be open to suggestions, but you've not provided feedback that would indicate you're not in the overwhelming minority. It seems to us that most would consider content to be content, whether it's a forum post or a gallery image. Clearly you want to isolate counts and we're not opposed to that per se if that's what the majority would like, but we're not going to go down the path of bloating the product with all sorts of little triggers and options based on how a select few previously used the software. It may seem like a "small request" - but consider the real scope of that. We have to go to each entry/submission point in each app, add a hook to check whether we want to increment the count, then add settings for them, then the interface. Is it a week long project? No. Is it worth doing? Well, we're open to more feedback, but thus far - no. 

To be honest, I'm not sure why you wouldn't use reputation for member rewards - that's the premise of the system vs an arbitrary post count that can easily be inflated with inane ramblings. As you mentioned though, it is your community to manage as you wish according to your specific needs. Likewise, while you license the software, it is still our software to tailor to the interests of the client base at large. It would get pretty overwhelming pretty quickly (and IP.Board was on its way) if we added a setting for this, a setting for that, a page for this, a page for that all based on everyone's individual needs. We have to be somewhat realistic, I'm afraid and draw the line. If there's mass interest, we'll do it. Otherwise, I'm sure we can work out another solution such as providing app specific counts at some point. Doing a count on app content would be a very easy hook to do as well for someone in the marketplace.

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Can someone operate IPS without a forum and only pages and gallery?

 Core and any other application really. :)

You can in theory do this with 3x too although its not quite as simple (I have a localhost install of 3x System/Members/Content) although it was not quite as straightforward as you think on this version, if you remove the forum app completely, some things aka MCP can break.

With IPS4, the core is completely independent of the applications, so you can install core and for instance pages or core and gallery etc etc, or any application you like. :) You should not *need* the forums app installed if you do not require it. :) This imo brings increased possibilities for other types of community too, those who would say only want Pages/Gallery or maybe Downloads/Gallery. A much simple 'topics' system could be made with Pages actually, I might go and have a look at that in a few minutes.

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Regarding the content count, I noted initially it read low when this site was first upgraded however the newer system ie content count does make 100% complete sense imo, as said items such as files or gallery images etc *are* content. :)

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@Lindy Thanks for the feedback, I do appreciate it and fully understand the reasons behind.

We already utlise the rewards system built into IPB 3.4 - we supply rewards for post count within the forum system using the pip rewards available, we supply rewards for likes achieved based on quality of content. We supply rewards for length of membership and so forth. It's not that we don't use them that's the issue. It's because we do use them.

Let's look at it in a pragmatic way, why do most of your customers (and I'm being presumptous here) have invision products? I would say at least 80% of them have it for the forum system and then bolt on the additional applications you offer. Certainly you may be seeing a swing towards a general suite of products and you can have one without needing to have another and need a way to increment post counts for these.

What you are doing though is alienating those that utilise IPS for the forum software itself, which is the heart and soul of most communities. Then using the other applications built around the forum community to enhance it. As it stands, users don't care if they have increase in post count for submitting an image into the gallery, downloads or calendar. Actually, they would want to see these stats individually shown rather than lumped into one "content count". How do you differentiate where these posts have been made, how can you then reward someone for contributing 10 images to the gallery, 10 download files 100 posts in the forum when the content count is all inclusive and not differentiated?

It's not because I don't want the content count to count towards contribution, I'm all for that but I want to be able to reward our members for specific contributions to certain applications which will allow us to promote usage of comments in articles, calendar events being added, files being added to downloads and images to the gallery. That's my point, hopefully i've made myself a little clearer. Having the ability to switch incrementation on or off per application is a good thing but differentiating these contributions would be even better.

What I mean by that, is going into the forum and seeing 100 posts, means they have made 100 posts in the forum.

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Craig, 

 

It's clear this is a very important issue for you and I'm sorry we don't have an out of the box and immediate solution. You might ask "how can you then reward someone for contributing 10 images to the gallery, 10 download files 100 posts in the forum when the content count is all inclusive and not differentiated?" I would ask, why would you want to encourage members to ignore parts of your site in favor of another and if you would, I have to strongly believe you'd be in the overall minority. We're very open to changing it, but we need more than one "vote" to make that happen. 

Unfortunately, I think you're misunderstanding the objective of IPS4. We recognize that ALL of our customers currently use the forums app. Conversely, we also recognize that not all customers care only about the forums. The goal of IPS4 is to break the disconnect between the apps. As with any change, it's sure to alienate a few - but this is the direction we're taking and the feedback on the whole is overwhelmingly positive. 

I don't think it would be difficult to offer a breakdown of stats per app if that's desired. We'll give that some further consideration. 

Please understand - we're not being difficult, but everyone has their minor thing that's a big thing to them. If we added everything that was important to everyone -- even everything from IP.Board on top of what's new in IPS4, we'd be left with a gigantic mess. It's not unlike building a car -- some insist on mud guards; some can't stand them and hate the look. Auto manufacturers then need to decide what is going to appeal to the most customers possible and then leave the rest to the aftermarket, otherwise, you're going to have a vehicle so overwhelming that nobody will want it. To you, it's major deal-breaking functionality. To the next 10 people, it's going to be "why would I want that anyway?" It's our job to parse that out into tangible action items. We're not always perfect at it and we rely heavily on all mediums of feedback, but it's a daunting task. 

 

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Lindy, I'm not misunderstanding the the objective of IPS4, the clue is in the name "Invision Power Services" supplying a community suite of products.

It's not just me that is unhappy with the thought process of IPS on this, it's just that I'm the one that's being vocal about it.

You ask why I would want to encourage members to ignore parts of the suite in favour of another. Seriously? It's because I want to encourage them by rewarding them for using them, that's why it's important to differentiate. By not differentiating, you are rewarding for overall content count, whether that is all downloads, images, posts in the forum purely based on content count.

By that logic, IPS are basically saying it doesn't matter what part of the site you use, you can use one part of the application have the same content count as someone that uses the whole suite but get rewarded the same (that's just going to cause frustration and anger amongst members). I just think IPS are misunderstanding this entire point.

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I suppose you're correct, Craig - I'm not understanding where you're coming from on this particular issue. I don't know why you'd want to "reward" people for using the forums app, but essentially penalize them for using the gallery. It seems the end-goal is to keep people on your community and engaged, regardless of how they choose to do so. Nonetheless, you're absolutely free to do as you wish with your community and we're not against the idea, it just hadn't occurred to us - the fact that only forum posts counted in IP.Board was an oversight more than a feature. If more feel like you, it's important to speak up... we'll listen if there's genuine interest as was the case with topic titles in which people were quite vocal and made quite valid points. :) As mentioned, we'll do what we can by considering isolated per member per app contributions. I'm unsure that would be added by final, but adding such a thing to a member profile would be a few minute thing for a marketplace guru. 

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I'm nearing completion of a "rules" engine for IPS4 that can be used to control which content will increase post counts based on conditions set by the site administrator. If it suits you, you could write a rule that only increases post counts for members named "Bob", or members named "Susan" that mention "Bob" in their post. Or you could create a rule that increases Bob's reputation when Susan mentions him in one of her blog posts. Or you could write a rule that decreases a members post count if you delete their posts. Or you could write a rule that increases someone's reputation if you feature a piece of their content, and then sends Bob an email about it.

The possibilities are endless, which is where I believe the concerns with building "bloated" or overcomplicated user interfaces to core products comes from. But the good news is that IPS has built such a flexible new framework that everybody will be able to have their way, and if the needs aren't specifically addressed in the core product, contributed products can be made to address them.

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To be clear, the post incrementation in IP.Board 3 was a flaw, not a feature.  It was a major fault on the part of the entire suite to only include the means to measure activity in one module, but not in the others.  

What they've done in IPS 4 is to correct that flaw, by offering the means to measure activity in all modules.  By virtue of doing so, they've created an entire framework that can be used to measure activity in one module, in two modules, or in all modules.  It may not be able to do so out-of-the-box, but at least they've offered the framework to do so.  IPS has taken the right step conceptually.  

But with that said, I think they need to take the other (and just as necessary) step to allow the activity account to be implemented in a manner that takes into account the infinite diversity of IPS clients.  Some clients care about the suite's activity equally; some clients only care about one module's activity; some clients care about two modules' activity.  This is why I passionately support the idea of offering choices in the ACP of what gets included in the activity count.  IPS needs to offer these toggles out-of-the-box, because even though offering the framework is conceptually nice, offering ACP choices is pragmatically useful.  

 

Looking at the big picture, I think that the concerns are actually two paths leading to the same destination.  Basing activity on a single app ought to be doable, just as measuring activity for the entire suite ought to be default.  Thus, IPS 4 as a software needs to be flexible enough to account for both options.

 

Joel

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What you are doing though is alienating those that utilise IPS for the forum software itself, which is the heart and soul of most communities. Then using the other applications built around the forum community to enhance it. As it stands, users don't care if they have increase in post count for submitting an image into the gallery, downloads or calendar. Actually, they would want to see these stats individually shown rather than lumped into one "content count". How do you differentiate where these posts have been made, how can you then reward someone for contributing 10 images to the gallery, 10 download files 100 posts in the forum when the content count is all inclusive and not differentiated?

It's not because I don't want the content count to count towards contribution, I'm all for that but I want to be able to reward our members for specific contributions to certain applications which will allow us to promote usage of comments in articles, calendar events being added, files being added to downloads and images to the gallery. That's my point, hopefully i've made myself a little clearer. Having the ability to switch incrementation on or off per application is a good thing but differentiating these contributions would be even better.

What I mean by that, is going into the forum and seeing 100 posts, means they have made 100 posts in the forum.

​I personally use IPS for the forum software itself(plus IP chat...but mainly the forums).  I certainly don't feel isolated or alienated by any means. I like this approach a lot and I like @Joel R and @Kevin Carwile suggestions as well. But I am okay with this new approach and I welcome the evolution and changes. As Lindy said, for what may annoy or frustrate one person, many more people are okay with such as this, the member list thing, and other things.

I'd rather IPS spend time focusing on things primarily that better the software for the majority and let the work of our excellent third party meet the needs of the minority personally.

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Would it be possible to add a tooltip to the content count, that shows the count for each section of the suite? :) Maybe that would help a little.

I don't mind the Content Count as it is now, but it would be nice to have quick access to a detailed Content Count showing the amount of posts in each part of the suite.

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@Kevin Carwile - I love the idea - great work and thank you for the contribution. 

@Joel R - Accommodating the infinite ways people could possibly use the suite is absolutely noble in concept, but the reality is, even attempting to reach that lofty goal would mean overwhelming the product to the point of alienating the majority of clients. You noted yourself we've accomplished the task of creating the framework and you've noted you agree with the default method. At that point, rather than adding another page of toggles and code hooks for "count this, but don't count that" for the benefit of what seems to be a relative few, it makes sense to let the marketplace do its job as necessary and good folks like Kevin take over. 

That said, we can close by saying we can agree easily accessible app-specific counts would be useful. It's in our internal system now and is something we will work on. We will agree to disagree on the benefit of changing how the global content counter works and artificially modifying it. I suspect that in the end, you'll be able to leverage app counters if you wish, but the global counter is just that -- global.  

Hopefully we can move on to the next thing now. I never knew post counts could be so flustering. :)

 

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@Kevin Carwile - I love the idea - great work and thank you for the contribution.

@Joel R - Accommodating the infinite ways people could possibly use the suite is absolutely noble in concept, but the reality is, even attempting to reach that lofty goal would mean overwhelming the product to the point of alienating the majority of clients. You noted yourself we've accomplished the task of creating the framework and you've noted you agree with the default method. At that point, rather than adding another page of toggles and code hooks for "count this, but don't count that" for the benefit of what seems to be a relative few, it makes sense to let the marketplace do its job as necessary and good folks like Kevin take over.

That said, we can close by saying we can agree easily accessible app-specific counts would be useful. It's in our internal system now and is something we will work on. We will agree to disagree on the benefit of changing how the global content counter works and artificially modifying it. I suspect that in the end, you'll be able to leverage app counters if you wish, but the global counter is just that -- global.

Hopefully we can move on to the next thing now. I never knew post counts could be so flustering. :)

 

​With the new content count, it's no longer just post count. I believe I read things like PM don't count...which is good, if so. But do things like Chat(Both Public and Private) chat count? I 'd assume not....but just clarifying.

Also do things like posting statuses and their comments count to a users content count?

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​With the new content count, it's no longer just post count. I believe I read things like PM don't count...which is good, if so. But do things like Chat(Both Public and Private) chat count? I 'd assume not....but just clarifying.
Also do things like posting statuses and their comments count to a users content count?

​No to all of the above.

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​Ah thanks for the clarification. So for someone coming from ipb3 to IPB4 with only the board as their main APP, what would cause an increase in the post count exactly? My post count on IPB 3 is around 49,000 and the IPB4 shows over 53,000.

​Someone else might need to confirm - perhaps something else is counting (such as comments.) Or, it's possible the count on IP.Board was inaccurate and got updated in the upgrade. 

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@Lindy My entire point is I want them to use the additional applications, and reward them for doing so to encourage user engagement throughout the suite and to strive to achieve a particular set of rewards.

Lets put it this way, as it is an all inclusive count, if I want to reward a user for reaching a post milestone, it doesn't matter on 4.0 where the post count comes from. Fair enough.

On 3.4 for example, if I want to reward users for reaching a post milestone I can. Comments, images files have no factor on the post count (correctly or incorrectly, they don't).

So we have say a rule that before you can use the chat you need to have made 5 posts, so 5 forum posts allow access to chat and automatically takes them out of the newbie group to member group via automatic promotion. I can deal with these posts being anywhere on the site on 4.0

However, if we have a restricted forum for members that have over 2000 posts, those 2000 posts could have been done over 12 / 24 months and then that forum becomes available to them. They have worked hard with theories, stories and so forth within the forum to achieve this.

On 4.0 a new member could join, within the space of 6 months, posted all across the suite (without breaking any of the rules), not posted a single theory, story or even contributed to the forum in anyway shape or form but reach the requirement for this. Is that fair? Is that just?

  • If I want to reward a member by rewarding them for posting 10 images in the gallery, how can this be done?
  • If I want to reward a member by rewarding them for posting 10 files in downloads, how can this be done?
  • If I want to reward a member for posting 10 events in calendar, how can this be done?
  • If I want to reward a member for making 10 forum posts, how can this be done?

This shouldn't be some 3rd party application the allows us to do this, we pay good money for the entire suite and we shouldn't have to buy a 3rd party app to differentiate between these posts. That's all I'm saying - it should just be available.

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