Welcome to the even newer Dracut Forum. After operating for a couple years, it was time to spruce up the place, sweep out the corners and get rid of some of the dust.
This new format is based upon what is known as a “blog.” It uses the most up-to-date software, with minimal changes to ease maintenance.
Discussions here start with a “post,” and can continue.. or not.. through the comments attached to the post.
Everything is still moderated.
Who can Post?
Well, I can, of course.
Then, anyone who registers can start submitting postings. They will not appear immediately, as new users are set at a level that requires my review before they appear on the site.
After a member posts a few message, I have the choice to up their status so that they can post immediately without moderation.
But what about Comments on the Posts?
We’re going to start with allowing comments from unregistered viewers, but only according to the following 4 Simple Rules:
1) You may be anonymous if you want to ask a bona-fide question and get a bona-fide answer. The question must not be value-laden or accusatory.
The moderator decides what falls into these categories.
2) You may not be anonymous — you must provide a real, consistent name and a valid email address (Email is not displayed) — if you want to question policies, or state your opinion, or disagree with Dracut Forum people or others. Identification must be adequate in the view of the moderator.
3) In any event, stupid personal attacks and made-up attributions will just not be posted.
4) The decision of the moderator is final. If that is unsatisfactory, we invite you to participate in those other troll-filled sites that, more often than not, border on the ridiculous in terms of fairness, honesty and intellectual content. Be our guest!
All comments will be moderated.. if it gets out of control, I’ll require registration for comments.
Comments will not appear until after moderation.
Why the Change?
The old software was becoming a bear to manage. It included many different software packages integrated together. As such, when one needed to be updated, changes tended to ripple across the system.
The new software provides better security, includes integrating video and audio casts with the posts (podcasting), trackbacks and links better to other blogs.
Old data remains on site, but not available to public. I’ve moved the best videos and podcasts to the new site; Image gallery has been transferred to new site, and is fully integrated into the blog. If you need access to a previous posting, let me know and I will find it.
The new system has the author assign postings to “categories.” This makes it easier to quickly find posts that interest you.
“Posts,” as in the previous forum, are simply a posting written by an author. They appear on the blog in reverse time order (newest on top), with links to “comments” that readers can leave about the post. Each posting, therefore, starts a conversation on that topic.
The new software allows for images, video and audio clips to be associated with postings. If a video or audio clip is available, the player options will appear on the bottom of the posting.
Postings can be assigned “categories.” Where the old forum was broken up into different specific areas by category, here you can select to list posts by category, or simply by date. Where in the past, I used an alternate author name “dracutminer” to indicate posts that were really just captures of new articles, here I will mark them with a specific category (articles).
I have set up a number of categories that will not show on the main page. These include the newspaper articles and the podcasts. These types of postings are always available either from a link from a regular post, or via the “categories” menu on the right. By hiding them from the front page, the blog becomes less cluttered.
The image gallery is fully integrated with this system (but remains independent enough to allow for easy upkeep and maintenance). You will see links to images and to entire albums appear in the postings. You can still go directly to the gallery itself as well.
Registered users who are writing posts can save them without publishing them. These unpublished drafts can then be updated and edited a number of times before publishing to the blog. This helps to keep postings accurate (you can go check some info without losing your work). Users can still go back and edit their postings as well.
There is a bunch of stuff going on in the background with this new software to stop the spam robots that try to automatically make postings and comments in blogs and forums. These are the comments that sometimes appear pointing to porn or gambling sites. These security features should be invisible to users, let me know if there is ever a problem.