Re-creating Softwood

Discussion related to board management, suggestions for improvement, and formal announcements.
User avatar
Ashtagon
Hierarch
Posts: 3675
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 5:45 pm
Gender: female
Location: Hillvale, Isle of Dawn
Contact:

Re-creating Softwood

Post by Ashtagon » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:51 pm

We all miss it, or many of us do. However, it's also apparent that many preferred not to use it for various reason.

Those of you who found it sub-optimal: What could be changed to improve it?
Emma Rome, otherwise known as Ashtagon
Image
Overall site admin for The Piazza. My moderator colour is pink!

User avatar
BlackBat242
Dire Haggis
Posts: 1562
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:09 am
Gender: other
Location: by the saline water - formerly in the Grand Valley of the Rivers

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by BlackBat242 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:12 am

Mostly it was the lack of contrast between text & background - it was simply too hard to read for me.
Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.
"I have a catapult. Give me your money or I will hurl a large rock at your head".

"Buffy, Blade... its up to you now." George Takei

The only time a Vampire should sparkle is right before they explode

User avatar
willpell
Black Dragon
Posts: 3201
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:10 pm
Gender: male

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by willpell » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:54 am

I liked it fine in black and white text, but it could stand to be higher contrast for sure. The real problem was with colored text. It very rarely stood out.

Best forum I was ever on was black and gray, and had over a hundred text colors with intuitive names (well, except for about thirty different shades of white). Softwood was the second best, so definite props if you manage to restore it. If not, we'll live. An attractive forum is certainly a more pleasant place to spend one's time, but it is of course the posters that really make it.

User avatar
Ashtagon
Hierarch
Posts: 3675
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 5:45 pm
Gender: female
Location: Hillvale, Isle of Dawn
Contact:

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by Ashtagon » Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:58 am

Supporting users having multiple text colours was never a goal of Softwood (and won't be for any future scheme). This is because colour-blind people exist, and I won't intentionally make something with the end result of making it harder for people with disabilities. There's also the issue that as a site standard, coloured text is intended to indicate "moderator voice".

That said, in a revision, I will probably make it so the text boxes have a much plainer background than before.
Emma Rome, otherwise known as Ashtagon
Image
Overall site admin for The Piazza. My moderator colour is pink!

User avatar
Sock Puppet
Troll
Posts: 344
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:02 pm
Gender: prefer not to say

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by Sock Puppet » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:18 am

Apparently the new default colour theme is mobile phone friendly. Since softwood will be molded from it then that will be mobile friendly too.
I am Ashtagon's sock puppet account.

User avatar
shesheyan
Cardboard Hero
Posts: 1980
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:58 pm
Gender: male
Location: Montreal

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by shesheyan » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:48 pm

Its best to give the users a choice between 3 themes. The official theme softwood, the standard phpBB bleu and a reversed white text on dark background theme would cover petty much everyone IMHO.

Ergonomically speaking, black letters on a 25%-30% gray background are the most restful for the eyes. I like that but most people say it looks boring/ugly. That explains why there are so many board themes with black text on a light color in the background.

I like softwood because it looks a bit like I'm reading a paperback.

User avatar
Gawain_VIII
Storm Giant
Posts: 1579
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 9:36 pm
Gender: male
Location: Oklahoma, USA
Contact:

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by Gawain_VIII » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:24 pm

Interestingly enough, I actually remember something about why the Air Force uses certain colors for it's PowerPoint presentations... a study was conducted that found the optimal color balance to maximize contrast and ease eye strain was dark blue on white or black on dark yellow (not orange dark, but not sunshine yellow either)... I never figured that but of information would ever be useful... but there you go.
Last edited by Gawain_VIII on Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Time does not heal all things--only swift and decisive action does." --Roger LaVern Girtman, II, 17 April 2010
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Classic Campaigns, my Mystara fansite
Moderator of The Piazza's Mystara and M3e Project forums.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23871
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by Big Mac » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:16 pm

shesheyan wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:48 pm
Its best to give the users a choice between 3 themes. The official theme softwood, the standard phpBB bleu and a reversed white text on dark background theme would cover petty much everyone IMHO.

Ergonomically speaking, black letters on a 25%-30% gray background are the most restful for the eyes. I like that but most people say it looks boring/ugly. That explains why there are so many board themes with black text on a light color in the background.

I like softwood because it looks a bit like I'm reading a paperback.
We had three styles before. Two were default styles that came with the older version of phpBB and the third was Softwood.

One of the two default phpBB styles was discontinued and the other style has been reprogrammed from the ground up. (That's why Softwood could not be brought with us.)

I got quite used to Softwood, so would be happy to see it come back, but I do think we need to have more styles. Maybe we could even have more than three.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
Hugin
Green Dragon
Posts: 4074
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 9:40 pm
Gender: male
Location: Fergus, Ontario

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by Hugin » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:24 pm

I used softwood as well and, for me, became "the look" of The Piazza. It's a little silly I know, but without it, it just doesn't 'feel' like The Piazza.

(I'm sure I'll get over it if the style doesn't return but I'd miss it.)

User avatar
shesheyan
Cardboard Hero
Posts: 1980
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:58 pm
Gender: male
Location: Montreal

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by shesheyan » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:36 pm

Exemples of bad contrast websites :
http://contrastrebellion.com

Also, W3C contrast guidelines :
https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCA ... trast.html

User avatar
Sturm
Green Dragon
Posts: 4795
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:26 pm
Gender: male
Location: Genoa, Italy
Contact:

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by Sturm » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:17 am

Big Mac wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:16 pm
One of the two default phpBB styles was discontinued and the other style has been reprogrammed from the ground up. (That's why Softwood could not be brought with us.)
I did not use Softwood because I found it too dark and hard to read. I used Subsilver2 which I liked better than Prosilver, which was similar to the one currently displaying here. (Finally found the names in Havard's Blackmoor board which still has v4)
Are you saying Subsilver2 is discountinued to no hope to get it back? :(

User avatar
ghendar
Cranky Grognard
Posts: 682
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 8:11 pm
Gender: male
Location: Acererak's Rumpus Room

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by ghendar » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:26 pm

Softwood was my style of choice.
Fifth registered member, bitches!

If the Unapproachable East was so unapproachable, how did anyone get there?

User avatar
Dragonhelm
Aurak
Posts: 1513
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 3:53 am
Gender: male
Contact:

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by Dragonhelm » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:04 pm

I am a front-end web developer by trade, so if you want some help recreating the Softwood theme with some tweaks to make it more readable, let me know. I am volunteering my services.
Trampas Whiteman
---DragonHelm--->

Image

Moderator for: Dragonlance. My moderator voice is Dark Red.

User avatar
Cthulhudrew
Green Dragon
Posts: 4152
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:13 pm
Gender: male
Location: Long Beach, CA

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:23 am

I'm with hugin and ghendar. I miss Softwood, and it had become the feel of the site to me.

Confession: I prefer the look and feel of natural wood in my decor, as well. I've pretty well redecorated my new(ish) apartment in that style. I'm biased. :D
Moderator of the Mystara and Greyhawk forums. My moderator voice is gray-green.
Image

User avatar
BlackBat242
Dire Haggis
Posts: 1562
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:09 am
Gender: other
Location: by the saline water - formerly in the Grand Valley of the Rivers

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by BlackBat242 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:22 am

Ah, yes - that is the one I preferred - Subsilver2!
Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.
"I have a catapult. Give me your money or I will hurl a large rock at your head".

"Buffy, Blade... its up to you now." George Takei

The only time a Vampire should sparkle is right before they explode

User avatar
ghendar
Cranky Grognard
Posts: 682
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 8:11 pm
Gender: male
Location: Acererak's Rumpus Room

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by ghendar » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:56 am

I know you guys are still getting all the kinks worked out but I was wondering if the handy dandy "view active posts" and "view your posts" links (as seen in the screenshot below) will make a return at some point.

Image
Fifth registered member, bitches!

If the Unapproachable East was so unapproachable, how did anyone get there?

User avatar
Ashtagon
Hierarch
Posts: 3675
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 5:45 pm
Gender: female
Location: Hillvale, Isle of Dawn
Contact:

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by Ashtagon » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:09 am

Those are already back. They are hidden behind the "Quick Links" button on the top left.
Emma Rome, otherwise known as Ashtagon
Image
Overall site admin for The Piazza. My moderator colour is pink!

User avatar
ghendar
Cranky Grognard
Posts: 682
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 8:11 pm
Gender: male
Location: Acererak's Rumpus Room

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by ghendar » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:14 pm

Thank you. That'll teach me not to click on everything
Fifth registered member, bitches!

If the Unapproachable East was so unapproachable, how did anyone get there?

User avatar
Giant Space Hamster
Initiate
Posts: 356
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:55 pm
Gender: male
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by Giant Space Hamster » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:14 am

BlackBat242 wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:22 am
Ah, yes - that is the one I preferred - Subsilver2!
Subsilver is gone, I'm afraid. All the 3.0 forum styles were built off of two root styles. 3.1 got rid of it. Now there is only one base style.

There might be something out there that looks a bit like Subsilver, though.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
This account is only used for forum administration. For general contact, please use my personal user account.
Administrator at The Piazza. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
BlackBat242
Dire Haggis
Posts: 1562
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:09 am
Gender: other
Location: by the saline water - formerly in the Grand Valley of the Rivers

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by BlackBat242 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:54 am

Mainly something that restores some kind of "new posts in thread/no new posts/you have already posted in this thread" indication, and is easier to read than softwood.

Even the Knights & Knaves white/yellow on black was better, in my opinion.
Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.
"I have a catapult. Give me your money or I will hurl a large rock at your head".

"Buffy, Blade... its up to you now." George Takei

The only time a Vampire should sparkle is right before they explode

User avatar
Sturm
Green Dragon
Posts: 4795
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:26 pm
Gender: male
Location: Genoa, Italy
Contact:

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by Sturm » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:57 am

Yes indeed subsilver was better in showing new posts and such, as BlackBat242 pointed out, because new posts and threads with new posts were showed with a yellow-orange symbol (the normal white symbol becoming yellow-orage) which stood out much better than the present one, in which there is a circle with lines which are not so well readable in a glance, imho.
Also I could not use Softwood because it was too dark, even if good looking :)
For your (and other admins) consideration Big Mac if you manage to add another theme similar to Subsilver beyond this one and Softwood.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23871
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by Big Mac » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:18 am

Sturm wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:17 am
Big Mac wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:16 pm
One of the two default phpBB styles was discontinued and the other style has been reprogrammed from the ground up. (That's why Softwood could not be brought with us.)
I did not use Softwood because I found it too dark and hard to read. I used Subsilver2 which I liked better than Prosilver, which was similar to the one currently displaying here. (Finally found the names in Havard's Blackmoor board which still has v4)
Are you saying Subsilver2 is discountinued to no hope to get it back? :(
Yes. Subsilver2 was created by the phpBB team for 3.0 and it worked in a radically different way to Prosilver. It wasn't just a different style...it was programmed a different way.

It was causing the phpBB team to have to work on two different sets of testing for upgrades. They needed to narrow things down to one type of way of doing styles, to make the development cycle easier.

We have some cool new stuff now (like better mobile phone support and some sort of image resizing thing) that are now hard-coded to work with the new prosilver. I've not done any testing with other styles yet, but I think that all styles might now have this cool new accessible stuff built into them.

I'm not really free to discuss forum styles yet. I need to focus on getting the Open Test signed off. That's why I've not had the time to do my own personal stuff on the forum since the Open Test started.

But, once we get that Open Test closed, and I get the new account sign up turned back on, I'll be free and, we can go looking to see what exists for 3.2. Maybe there is something similar to Subsilver2. Or maybe there is something that is not similar, but does what the Subsilver2 fans like. I just don't know at this point.

Anyhoo. I'll leave you lot to get back to discussing Softwood. This off-topic discussion isn't getting that moved forward. We can start a different discussion when we have some other potential styles to look at.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
willpell
Black Dragon
Posts: 3201
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:10 pm
Gender: male

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by willpell » Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:13 am

Several people have said softwood was too dark, and while I didn't find it so, I'm quite familiar with that problem from other screens, so I would definitely be fine with a new lower-saturation version. Don't turn up the glare, please, but a washed-out pallid look, while intrinsically unattractive, should improve legibility for all users (especially for play-by-post usage of colored text).

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23871
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by Big Mac » Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:13 pm

willpell wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:13 am
Several people have said softwood was too dark, and while I didn't find it so, I'm quite familiar with that problem from other screens, so I would definitely be fine with a new lower-saturation version. Don't turn up the glare, please, but a washed-out pallid look, while intrinsically unattractive, should improve legibility for all users (especially for play-by-post usage of colored text).
I also had no problems with Softwood.

Aside from the fact that a few things have changed in the new version of phpBB, I wouldn't mind if Ashtagon created a new version of Softwood that was very close to the original.

For people who had problems with Softwood, there is always the option of having one or more extra styles.

If we assume we are going to be keeping this new version of Prosilver (hopefully with a bit of customisation to get rid of the "phpBB Creating Communities" logo) then that would be good for a percentage of the people who didn't want to use "Softwood: The Next Generation".

So I think it would come down to how many people didn't get on well with both Softwood and Prosilver. And if we could identify a third style that did things that neither Softwood nor Prosilver did, that might cover all the bases.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
willpell
Black Dragon
Posts: 3201
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:10 pm
Gender: male

Re: Re-creating Softwood

Post by willpell » Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:23 pm

The most obviously missing option is a white-text-on-black style, for people whose monitors tend to produce excess glare and who want to be able to read in a dark room.

Post Reply

Return to “The Kippin' Griffin”