Author Topic: Some Spannering Under the Bonnet: Forum Themes, Plus GDPR Compliance  (Read 167 times)

Recusant

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There is an ongoing discussion amongst the staff of HAF regarding some changes to the site of a more or less mechanical nature. Two are in the works--a change to the default theme, and complying with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Theme in this context means the overall look and user interface for the site.

1. The current default theme (called "Curve") is fine, and it's not going to be scrapped. However, it doesn't play well with mobile devices like smart phones and tablets. Google grades many sites by how they work with mobile devices, and HAF is now one of those. This means Google's search results can be less friendly to HAF. To prevent that happening, we can make what is called a "responsive" theme our default theme. A responsive theme modifies itself depending on what sort of device is being used, and therefore works with mobile devices.

A few responsive themes have been installed on this site (currently there are three: vVide, LimeStone, and Reseller) and if you like, you can see how they work for you. When this change goes forward, a more detailed post will be made here in the Announcements board with illustrated instructions on how to change the theme you're using. For now, I'll give a brief description so that any who feel like checking them out can do so.

a. Go to your User Profile. You'll see the link in the site menu.

b. In your profile, under "Modify Profile," you'll see "Look and Layout." Click on that.

c. Near the top of the resulting page, you'll see "Current Theme" and a link appearing as (change). Click on (change).

d. The new page will give you a list of the themes that are available at HAF. The one we're considering making the default theme is called Reseller, and you'll find it at the bottom of the list. You can choose to preview it, or try it out as your new theme. If you don't like it, you can easily go back to our current default theme by following the path described above. This will also be possible to do when the new default theme is put in place.

* * *

2. GDPR compliance requires a few things. The site needs to provide you with options in regard to how your data is handled, and it also needs to ask your consent to have your data (basically email addresses here) on the site. The way SMF (Simple Machines Forums--the software HAF runs on) has set it up, members will be required to agree to the GDPR compliant privacy policy to use this site. From the SMF site, the specific list of changes:

Quote
  • Requires members to accept the current privacy policy in order to use the forum
  • Asks during registration whether the new member wants to receive announcements via email
  • Enables token-based unsubscribe links in emails so members can unsubscribe without logging in
  • Allows members to download a copy of their profile information
  • Adjusts the behaviour of a number of other features in minor ways as necessary

When we make that change, I assume you'll get a popup window asking your consent, and giving you some options. I'm not sure exactly how it will work because we haven't yet clicked the button making the change; we wanted to announce it beforehand, and it may be irreversible once it's done. Also note: once we've done the change to comply with GDPR, everybody will have to log in to HAF again, even if you had previously made your login automatic ("Forever").

Before each of these two changes are actually put in place, another announcement will be made.

Any questions on this business are welcome; I'll do my best to answer them. Comments are welcome, too.  :)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 10:54:24 PM by Recusant »
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: Some Spannering Under the Bonnet: Forum Themes, Plus GDPR Compliance
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2020, 11:02:26 PM »
I just have a comment to make. :) I switched to Reseller after Recusant installed the theme, having used vVide before that, and if you frequently connect to HAF using your phone you will certainly notice a responsive theme is much better for that platform. As Recusant said, if you still prefer the current default theme after the changes are made you can easily switch back. :smilenod:
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Davin

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Re: Some Spannering Under the Bonnet: Forum Themes, Plus GDPR Compliance
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2020, 01:56:21 PM »
Got any of them dark themes?

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Recusant

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Re: Some Spannering Under the Bonnet: Forum Themes, Plus GDPR Compliance
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2020, 04:06:55 PM »
Got any of them dark themes?

I'm working on a custom dark theme, but it involves learning more about modifying the code. In the meantime, I've added a dark responsive theme that you could try. It's called Averus. One of the things that I don't like about that theme is that it doesn't offer a straightforward way of installing our logo; again that would involve tinkering with the code.

You'll note that currently in Averus, the icon images for the installed mods (YouTube embed, etc.) in the "Post reply"  and "Modify message" pages are broken image links. The mods still work, but fixing the image links involves a song and dance. If you decide you really like Averus, let me know, and I'll work on getting them repaired.

ETA: I've managed to change the logo for Averus, so that's one issue dealt with.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 05:20:31 PM by Recusant »
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


Davin

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Re: Some Spannering Under the Bonnet: Forum Themes, Plus GDPR Compliance
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 04:41:51 PM »
It's my favorite so far. It's usable for me, so there's no rush to get the icons fixed if I'm the only one using it.

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Recusant

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Re: Some Spannering Under the Bonnet: Forum Themes, Plus GDPR Compliance
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 05:23:45 PM »
I just checked on a small tablet, and though Averus claims it works "well with mobile devices," it doesn't do as well as Reseller. If you're going to stick with Averus, Davin, I'm happy to keep it and will put the icon repair on my list of tasks.
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— H. L. Mencken


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Re: Some Spannering Under the Bonnet: Forum Themes, Plus GDPR Compliance
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2020, 01:38:02 AM »
The "NEW" icons are different.
 

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Recusant

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Re: Some Spannering Under the Bonnet: Forum Themes, Plus GDPR Compliance
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2020, 02:04:48 AM »
The "NEW" icons are different.

Yes, since I was working on the site anyway, I thought I'd see if I could repair that broken image link for "new" in the recent posts lists. It's been broken for so long, most people have probably forgotten what it looked like.

By the way, I don't know if others are experiencing slow loading on the site and occasional connection timeouts, but I don't think it has anything to do with my efforts. If it continues, we may have to bother Asmodean to see what he thinks.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 03:22:01 AM by Recusant »
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


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Re: Some Spannering Under the Bonnet: Forum Themes, Plus GDPR Compliance
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2020, 12:58:01 PM »
[quote author=Recusant link=topic=16421.msg396166#msg396166
By the way, I don't know if others are experiencing slow loading on the site and occasional connection timeouts, but I don't think it has anything to do with my efforts. If it continues, we may have to bother Asmodean to see what he thinks.
[/quote]

No No don't bother Asmodean
I find if I make a post and go off to make some toast, put some cucumber on it, lightly vegie salt it, when I return to the screen, my post is up.

Recusant

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Re: Some Spannering Under the Bonnet: Forum Themes, Plus GDPR Compliance
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2020, 02:55:52 PM »
 :( Thank you for confirming that I'm not the only one seeing the problem. Sometimes the response time is decent. To me that indicates the problem is not with our forum software, but on the upstream side.
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken