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ATTENTION FSM STAFF

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  • Member since
    December 2011
  • From: AZ
ATTENTION FSM STAFF
Posted by Luft Modeler on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 10:44 PM

Ok so this issue has been brought up, and seems like it is being brushed aside. The mobile version of the website need some very needed attention. What is going to be done about either way to the problem of either adding pages to the threads or once a person has chosen the "Full-Site" button that it stay that way??

It is a major pain to view threads on the mobile version as in you always start on the first post and have to keep load more posts to get to the one you want... Or let alone trying to navigate a thread.

And because the mobile version flat out sucks to use I dont want to have to keep clicking the full site tab and play that BS game with the website always revert back to mobile...

Basically I have no real desire to come to this website now as it is just a major pain to use. I have seen people who were once on this site are now gone, and if this website is becoming a major pain to use for the normal members, do you really think people are going to want to sign up and go through the same hassle??

Once again I am limiting my time spent here and if it keeps up this way I will just not come back. There are other modelling websites.. I just happen to like the people that are here that I have known for awhile and wish thing would turn around..

Moderator
  • Member since
    September 2011
Posted by Tim Kidwell on Thursday, August 16, 2012 11:08 AM

Hi Pzl66 and other FSM Forum members,

I'm sorry you're having difficulties with the mobile version of the Forum. I assure you, we read all of the posts that come into the Feedback forum, although we may not respond to all of them due to time constraints and other responsibilities.

Our online team has been working to optimize the mobile version of the Forum, and I gently remind everyone that we didn't have a mobile version before the upgrade. After talking this morning to our online chief, Alex, here's  our current situation:

There probably isn't much we can do for your particular complaint, Pzl66. As Alex told me, the "mobile site is based on the Telligent [our Forum software provider] layout optimized for mobile devices, and its functionality is specifically limited for mobile phones. It was created in response to numerous inquiries about making the Forum more mobile-friendly for multiple titles."

Currently, Kalmbach owns 17 magazines ranging from Astronomy and Discover to FSM and Model Railroader to Trains and American Snowmobiler, and our forums software has to work for every title. There are small changes that are made for each title, but in the main, major reworking of the underlying code structure would mean reworking it for every title, because users for every title do not have the same needs and wants. This is a company-wide decision, and one that isn't made by the editors and staff at FSM.

Alex went on to tell me what's happening in the background for the mobile devices. "When a user selects to view the full site on a mobile device, that setting is saved for the forum or thread they are viewing. Moving to an additional or secondary thread would move them [the user] back to the mobile layout if they are on a device identified as mobile." The layout is basically dictated by the device you're using.

I know that the upgrade (some would argue with me using that word) to the new Forum software has been a difficult one for some members, but it allowed us to introduce a mobile platform we didn't previously have. And while the mobile usability may not mean much to some members or irritates others, we also needed to perform the upgrade to keep the Forum running. Eventually, Telligent would have stopped servicing the previous version, and the Forum would have continued to get slower and slower, and stop functioning altogether.

The Forum is an important space for us here at FSM. It allows us to interact directly with modelers around the world. But we also believe it to be an important place for our international membership, because you are able to congregate and discuss modeling-related issues. Many members have built friendships on the Forum that have migrated into real space. We want to encourage that, and we believe that the new Forum software facilitates networking and building relationships.

As the other magazines' forums are upgraded, our online team will come back through and make what changes they can. Other improvements will have to come directly from Telligent, which means we're on their timeline, not ours.

Again, I am sorry to hear that you're frustrated with the Forum, Pzl66, and that your frustration is limiting your enjoyment of the site. We will continue to do our best to accomodate yours and our other members' needs, but as we have a limited number of people with a limited amount of time, I have to be honest that the changes will not happen instantaneously.

If I haven't addressed your concerns here, please don't hesitate to contact me via private message or e-mail me at tkidwell@finescale.com. If you're more comfortable talking to me directly, you can phone me at 262-796-8776. I'll do my best to answer your questions. If I can't, I'll do my best to find the information for you.

Best,

Tim

--

Timothy Kidwell
Editor
Scale Model Brands
Kalmbach Media

 

  • Member since
    December 2011
  • From: AZ
Posted by Luft Modeler on Thursday, August 16, 2012 12:37 PM

Thank you Tim for spending the time to respond. Now my complaint is not with you but those who make the programming changes. I know there is only so much you can do and cannot blame you for that. Thanks again for your help, will keep popping my head in here every once in awhile to see how things are going and wish thing go back to running smooth.

  • Member since
    February 2011
  • From: Ontario, Canada
Posted by gunner_chris on Thursday, August 16, 2012 1:38 PM

I am glad to hear our complaints are not going unheard, but as someone that has worked as a system administrator/programmer before, functionality when a new product rolls out is first and foremost. Normally the implementation team is dedicated to addressing those functional issues as they come up after a new project/system is launched.

Functionally the mobile version does not work when there are multiple pages.  

As for jumping between versions why not have a setting for each profile that 'if a mobile device is detected whether that user wants to use the mobile site'.

I can appreciate that no one likes change, but it is inevitable. And I'm sure the implementation team tried to sort out every bug they could before.  But in my eyes I believe that there are some fundamental issues that need to be addressed before moving to the next site or project.

Until then I will continue to 'wait,out'

  • Member since
    January 2005
  • From: Portland, Oregon
Posted by fantacmet on Thursday, October 4, 2012 12:22 AM

I have a small suggestion, that I realize neither FSM nor Kalmbach can do anything about specifically, however the forum provider might, there are other forum providers out there that have mobile apps available, for Blackberry, Android, and IOS(Apple).  While the coding for Apple devices might be more complex and alot older it is still capable of parsing and displaying the forums in a different format that is customizable.  These things can also be done on the other platforms as well without as much coding, though it would be needed accross all the mobile platforms.

Yes this could theoretically be cost prohibitive, and I can understand at least for now, not wanting to pour any resources into such a development, the time is fast approaching(much to my dismay as I prefer a real computer), where more and more people are switching from computers to mobile devices.

One other possibility for such an app, is while I understand the need for the coding behind the lines to remain concealed, it would not hurt the provider in any way to release just enough of what is needed or an SDK perhaps so that third parties could create apps that would be able ot parse the coding for viewing from within a mobile app.

I don't expect Kalmbach or FSM staff to be able to do anything about these suggestions, but perhaps someone from the forum provider may read this and "parse" it in their own mind if you will, under consideration.

I for one would gladly help with some coding or some alpha or beta testing of such applications on an Android phone, a small IOS device(Ipod touch both jailbroken and not), and a hacked android Tablet(Nook color that has been erased and has a full copy of 2.3 installed).

I did leave out Windows Mobile devices deliberately, as there are so few, and historically Windows mobile hasn't done well, and if it does takeoff likely mobile IE or any of theother mobile browsers for the same device will likely display the forums just fine.

Perhaps FSM or Kalmbach might forward this to the forum provider as well, perhaps not.

Just $0.02 from someone with 18+ years of technology experience.

    

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