[drupal-devel] [feature] More changes to forum help text

nysus drupal-devel at drupal.org
Wed Apr 13 03:44:45 UTC 2005

Issue status update for http://drupal.org/node/19434

 Project:      Drupal
 Version:      cvs
 Component:    forum.module
 Category:     feature requests
 Priority:     normal
 Assigned to:  nysus
 Reported by:  nysus
 Updated by:   nysus
-Status:       fixed
+Status:       patch
 Attachment:   http://drupal.org/files/issues/forum_help_2.patch (603 bytes)

This patch reverts an accidental change to a line of help text made by
the forum_help_1.patch


Previous comments:

March 25, 2005 - 08:16 : nysus

Attachment: http://drupal.org/files/issues/forum_help.patch (5.98 KB)

Here's some more changes to help text in the forum.module by order of

"Parent" selection help text: Added help description for this form item
found on "admin/forum/add/container" and "admin/forum/add/forum".  The
help description is different depending on whether the type of
component being added is a forum or a container.  This change required
the modifcation to the argument list passed to an internal function to
Removed duplicate help language created by the change above.
Cut the fat from the help blurb on the "create content" page.
"Weight" selection help text on "admin/forum/add/container" and
"admin/forum/add/forum": Improved wording and made it more detailed.
Help language for "name" and "description" fields on
"admin/forum/add/container" and "admin/forum/add/forum" pages made more
consistent and concise.
Changed instances of "topic discussions" to "discussion topics"


March 25, 2005 - 09:03 : Morbus Iff

-1 on parts of this:

I dislike immensely your "Weight" modifications. Not only do you make
them self-referential ("This setting" - utterly useless text) but you
also hardcode their implementation ("+10 is the heaviest"). Likewise,
you've made them, IMO, TOO long and TOO wordy. And "Weight" is used for
various things throughout Drupal, so if you're gonna "fix" one, you
should really "fix" them all. Still, I don't like the way you've fixed
Your function change is fine with me, but you've got no spaces between
your "if"/"else if" and the parenthesied text. You need the spaces to
match up with Drupal style.

Other than that, the other changes are fine with me.


March 25, 2005 - 10:23 : nysus

Attachment: http://drupal.org/files/issues/forum_help_0.patch (5.87 KB)

I do think the weight help text should be changed across all of drupal. 
This can be a confusing option for those who only run across negative
numbers once in a blue moon:  "Oh, that's right, -7 is comes before
+5".  Also, the fact is that "weight" is not explained anywhere else in
the help file for forums or even in the Drupal handbook section on
forums.  This is the only place users get any help for this option so I
don't see it as a problem if it's a little long.

As an aside, I think "weight" is a rather unfortunate analogy used by
Drupal.  Why mess around with an analogy like weight when you can just
call it "List order" and just have a simple list of positive numbers? 
Forums, blocks, etc. with a value of  '1' would go to the top of the
list and those with the value of '20' would go to the bottom.  It does
the same thing and it's easier for most people to understand.

The weight analogy is clearly the product of a programmer's mind.  It
may be clear to the programmer who created it and to most other geeks
who understand relative density, but the fact is that most people don't
think like this and don't remember high school physics.  We shouldn't be
forcing people to clear out the cobwebs in their head to use Drupal.

All this being said, I changed it per your recommendation.  However, I
would *highly* recommend creating a sentence with a short example until
we can get a lengthier help file up somewhere else.  Something like:
"Example: A forum with a value of -7 is listed before a value of +5".


March 25, 2005 - 10:46 : Morbus Iff

Fair enough. Far be it from me to chastise people about negative number
ignorance (hell, I /suck/ at math - I think I have, what, a tenth grade
education?). Also note that I wasn't around when "Weight" was decided
but, in my head, there IS rationale for using weight with negative
numbers. Currently, the "weight" of an item defaults to 0. Fine, no big
deal. In your system, however, the weight of an item would HAVE to
default to "10", which I'm not sure is "better" from a usability
interface. Why 10? Because if items defaulted to "1" (the first item in
your revised list, and more understandable from a usability standpoint),
then ALL items would have to be changed to "2" (or higher) if we ever
wanted an item to show up before another. This is far far far more
kludgey, and I don't think that "well, we'll just use 10" is an answer
("10" doesn't exactly inspire the "default" analog as 0 or 1 does).

Actually, you know, no, it's not far from me: I think people DO
understand negative numbers, and if they don't, they can make the
visual leap based on the UI implementation of them in Drupal (the
dropdown box with negatives before positives). Unless, of course, we
want to challege the assumptions of "before" and "after" or "top of the
list" and "bottom of the list" ;)

With that said, I'm fine with your revision.


March 25, 2005 - 12:14 : nysus

You make a good point.

Perhaps you could have each item default to a value of "middle."  The
"middle" word would correspond to the value of 10.  This would get
around the awkwardness and confusion of a user seeing the a number
value of '10'.  On the drop down menu, you could still have the 1-9
values appear before the "middle" value and values 11-20 come after it.
 To make it even more clear for users, you could make the word "top"
correspond to the value of 1 and the word "bottom" correspond to the
value of 20.

Anyway, we digress.  Maybe Drupal version 6.2 will get around to
addressing this.  There are certainly more pressing issues.


April 8, 2005 - 07:49 : Dries

Patch no longer applies.


April 10, 2005 - 13:13 : nysus

Attachment: http://drupal.org/files/issues/forum_help_1.patch (5.81 KB)

Posted revision to patch so it can be applied.


April 11, 2005 - 12:54 : Dries

Committed to HEAD.

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