The Journal Apps

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
1 message Options
GregChapman GregChapman
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

The Journal Apps

This post was updated on .

Introduction

As the name suggests, the "Journal" class of apps are intended for those who expect to initiate all topics, and optionally, accept comments or replies. These apps have two main features that set them apart from the other two classes:

  • They are designed to give greatest prominence to the most recent post. Any sub-forum or topic is secondary.
  • They feature a sidebar that replaces the menu system found in the other classes of app

The Sidebar

With the sidebar in place some features of the standard menu move to different parts of the display. For example, the links "Permalink" and "Leave a comment" (which replaces the "Reply") now appear at the bottom of any post.

The items in the sidebar below the "People" section can vary. The "Subscribe via email" section only appears if the user is not subscribed. The "Subcategories" section only appears if there are sub-forums below the current app and, obviously, the "Archive" section grows over time.

If preferred, the sidebar can easily be replaced with the menu system and footer found in the other classes of apps by changing the option found at:
Options > Application > Change Appearance > Preferences > Page Layout to "Narrow".
(The assumption seems to be on narrow screens there is not enough space for a sidebar.)
Note: The "Narrow" option can only be applied at the top level and will be inherited by all sub-forums.

There are three apps in this class, Blog, News and Gallery.

Blog App

Blog App

Apart from the sidebar, in comparison with the Forum app the chief changes are:

  • The full text of all posts, including those in sub-forums, appear on the page.
    (Any Subcategory in which a post is made is indicated within the post title area)
  • Replies are termed "Comments"
  • The most recent post is presented at the top of the page

Structure

To build folders under this app use:
Options > Structure > Create new subcategory
By default this creates a new Blog app which will be pinned.

For most personal blogs there will be no need for Subcategories and their owners will post only at the top level of the app. However, it is possible to use Subcategories to segment a blog either by intended audience or by author.

Both individuals or organisations may have a distinct sets of audiences, perhaps Family and Friends, Club Members and the Public, Regular and Recent Customers and by posting in separate sub-forums and setting appropriate permissions it is possible to control who can view any particular post, and who can subscribe to them.

Similarly, clubs and other organisations, may find it useful to have separate Subcategories where the Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer post. That way the latest post will always appear at the top of the main app, but by selecting the appropriate Subcategory the user can filter the articles so that only posts by, for example, the Chairman, are seen.

News App

News App

The News app is very similar to the Blog app but has these differences:

  • Only the first 500 characters of a post appear on the entry page. This "snippet" is followed by a "read more" link which takes you to a separate page to display that article.
  • There is no reply facility. One must go to the full article to find one (using the Subject Line or "read more" links).
  • The first image posted within the article (if there is one) appears as a thumbnail beside the snippet.

There is a very useful feature for this app that can be accessed via:
Options > Application > Extras & add-ons > Content > Custom summary for Newspaper
This allows you to replace the default 500 character snippet with alternative content of your own choosing and of any length. Because the snippet is placed in the post before the main body this feature also allows you to make sure your preferred thumbnail is associated with the article.

Structure

To build folders under this app use:
Options > Structure > Create new subcategory
By default this creates a new News app which will be pinned.

Exactly the same comments can be applied to the News app as were given for the Blog app.

Gallery App

This app is based on the "News" app. There is just one difference:

  • There is no snippet of text taken from the post and the space is used to display a maximum of three thumbnail images across the page

The key issues with this app are both its name - it might be better called the "Thumbnails" app - and that it sits amongst the Journal apps, which always give the latest image precedence, though this will not always be undesirable.

This app provides another way of linking the page to the individual topics posted within the app. Unlike the galleries found on most web sites, it does not pre-load images in the background. As a result moving around a gallery based on this app can take time, especially on a slow connection. In addition, by default, there is no way of moving from one post to the next and users have to return to the Gallery page to select the next image to view. The result is that, compared with many web-based galleries, it can be somewhat cumbersome to use.

Gallery App

There are ways to minimise the effect or overcome some of the issues. For example, there is feature that can be turned on at:
Options > Application > Extras & Add-ons > Navigation > Show links to next/previous threads
That helps with navigation between images. However, being a top level option the links then appear on all sub-forums and, not being designed specifically for the gallery app, the text of the links say "Previous Topic" and "Next Topic", rather than referring to images.

While the impact of some of the short-comings can be reduced by those with the skills to edit relevant macros in the NAML code that all Nabble apps are built with, there is no way to overcome its fundamental problems if the expectation is that it can deliver a fast smooth operating way of displaying a set of images.

In spite of this, even as a non-coder, there are some pleasant surprises to be had with the Gallery app. For example, if you create a Gallery as a sub-app of a Mixed app, then a thumbnail strip appears running across your Mixed app, complete with arrowhead buttons that bring further thumbnails into view.

Gallery within Mixed App

Structure

To build folders under this app use:
Options > Structure > Create new subcategory
By default this creates a new Gallery app which will be pinned.

As is implied in the description of the features above, this app is probably best used as a graphical front end to conventional forum pages. Even then, because it is of the Journal class, posts are ordered date rather than topic as the priority. The thumbnails that are displayed will move around the page to show the latest post as the top left graphic on the page.

Greg