Update: This question was originally called "Is it just me, or is this forum deeply broken in Safari/Mac?" but it turns out that it's probably also broken in Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Which, funnily enough, happens to be all the browsers in which this site "works best" according the footer of the page.
I don't mean to be a jerk about this, but... well, here's the thing.
I only just signed up a few days ago, but not for lack of trying. Whenever I tried to sign up (using Safari/Mac), it simply did not work:
You could only fill out the username field. You couldn't hit tab or even
to activate other fields
The image CAPTCHA never worked. It always showed "Sorry, cannot complete your request now" or some such
It seemed so very broken, that I didn't even bother trying it in another browser (and besides I just prefer Safari). I figured that if was so broken in Safari, it must be some general problem that's got nothing to do with the browser, but rather the service. I also asked a friend to try signing up and/or signing in from his computer, and he had he exact same issues. But I finally did try another browser, and to my surprise it worked in Firefox.
Ok, so now I'm signed up. All the sign-up emails go directly to spam of course, because, well, everything this Zoho place makes looks like spam or worse (let's just say, I don't really trust these people - their entire presentation seems antithetical to honesty somehow. I keep expecting some sort of payment form to pop up). But I was prepared to go spam-filter-diving.
I return to Safari, and log in there... well, I try to. The big "Sign in" button doesn't work. I instead get a message telling me to enable cookies. And cookies
But at least I can click the sign in link on the top-right of the page - that works.
I post a question about tool development (the entire point of signing up). I leave the page open, and look at it from time to time, to see if there's been a reply.
Then I go to use my browser history, and it had logged
pageviews on some cryptic forum.processing.org URL. Apparently, my question-page has simply been updating something in the background every every 10-30 seconds for an entire day. Seriously: Over 1600 pageviews in my browser history - none of which I asked for. I reloaded the page maybe 5 times myself. The rest is automation run amok.
Oh, and at the bottom of all these forum pages it says that it "Works best in IE 7.0+, Firefox 2.0+, Chrome,
To put it mildly, I disagree! This is by far the worst behavior I've ever seen from a site. Completely inexcusable.
Has anyone here had a similar experience?
Can't sign up. Form and CAPTCHA broken
Zoho-emails all look like 1st rate spam and get filtered
Sign in button broken
Auto-refresh causes 1600+ entries in my browser history
Yeah, it's slow as molasses. The best (read: worst) part is how it insists on loading everything via Ajax. Half the time I'm not sure I'm actually navigating to the forum I clicked, or if it's stuck, or if I'm actually already viewing that forum. The interface and feedback stinks to high heaven.
Well I'm glad to hear it's not just me. But it's less fun to hear, that the forum really is broken. What was wrong with the old one?
I guess this system just doesn't like WebKit browsers, if you have similar issues with a Chrome-based browser on Windows.
(Incidentally, I'm using Chrome/Mac right now for writing this, but so far it's working out... on the other hand, this forum is the only reason I even have Chrome running, so that's annoying in itself)
But it doesn't inspire confidence in the forum system. Chrome and Safari make up 50% of the browsers where the forum "works best" - I'd hate to see how it works when it "works worst"!
"We (the Processing developers) don't have control over this forum's visual design or user interface. Zoho has very generously donated the use of their forum software to Processing without cost and they are in control of the software. From the Processing team, we're extremely excited about this new software and the fact that we can spend more time making Processing and less time worrying about the forum software."
Maybe we should try the "feedback" link at the top of each page? Does anyone know if that goes to Zoho or to the admins of this forum?
You can go to the forum about the Zoho applications, particularly the one about the forums: http://forums.zoho.com/zoho-discussions and report issues there. Some issues I reported have been addressed, others like the bug about escaping characters (backslash, % + two hexa digits, etc.) are still here. I admit the "all Ajax" solution is seducing but sometime impractical: unlike a classical forum, if I accidentally close the current tab (or navigate away), upon restoration I lost the message I typed. [EDIT: Again today! Grrr...] As pointed out, history is polluted by constant refreshing, for no apparent reason as nothing is updated! As a moderator, I miss the capability to move a message out of a thread to its own thread. Etc. But honestly, the old forum had its issues too. All we can hope is that they work actively to improve this software.
Thanks for the tip. I'll post a recap of the issues on the Zoho discussions board, and link to this thread (I imagine zoho admins can view stuff on this forum at will)
And I'm sure there were issues with the old board, it's just that the issues I've seen (and that other here have reported) seem a lot more pervasive and downright annoying. As you say, "all Ajax" sounds great on the feature list, but there are things that really shouldn't be Ajax.
It's cool that Processing's got a free forum and all that, and even though you're not supposed to look a gift horse in the mouth, I can't help but think that this is a really poor implementation of something as basic as a forum. Especially when even a moderator is missing simple features like moving posts.
True enough, but having tags doesn't quite excuse all the other issues, if you ask me. These days you almost expect there to be a tagging system. And while it's nice that there indeed is one, and that it (by itself) works, it's sort of wasted, when there are all these more basic problems.
I hate to be mr. Negativity too, and there are things I like, like the rich text editing. But I don't need rich text as much as I need, y'know, a site that works in my browser.
Is there a browser that works correct with this forum? In the old forums, Google was used to search the forums. The speed was great, but with the ZOHO forum i have to open a new window for every link i click, because most of the time the back link or back button doesn't work. I am using Firefox btw.
Well, if I'm having problems in Safari, velvetkevorkian above is having issues with a Chrome-based browser, and you're having problems with Firefox, I guess there's only IE 7.0+ left on Zoho's list. I'm a Mac guy, though, I so don't know if IE 7.0 works any better.
As a web developer, I wouldn't be completely surprised if IE works better, since it's almost always a question of getting things working in IE, or getting them working everywhere else. Getting something like this (overly-) complicated forum to work in both IE and everything else is usually a huge pain. But that's what Zoho's chose to build, I suppose