11 June 2003
|Revision v0.0.10||11 June 2003||cat|
|Prepared documentation for RC1 with installation and user instructions.|
Table of Contents
Online documentation provides a HowTo approach to installing, administering and using mvnForum successfully. If you do not see what you are looking for here, take a look at the FAQ section, carefully compiled for your edification.
A discussion board (known also by various other names such as discussion group, discussion forum, message board, and online forum) is a general term for any online "bulletin board" where you can leave and expect to see responses to messages you have left. Or you can just read the board. The first discussion boards were available on bulletin board systems. On the Internet, Usenet provides thousands of discussion boards; these can now sometimes be viewed from a Web browser.
Please note that below is a list of the most significant features.
New features in mvnForum 1.0.0 rc 1 - dev:
[Security]: User can now delete cookie (in login page) for better security
[Security]: Add configuration option to ensure Email Validation before the user can login
Support setting/customize Member's Title
Improved User Management
Support Global/Category/Forum/Thread Watch [cool]
Improved IP blocking: now support IP range blocking (eg. 127.0.0.*)
Powerful logging system with Jakarta Common Logging
Localization: 4 additional languages: Italian, German, French and Danish
Database: 1 additional database: SAPDB
Support 1 additional tags: [code] (to format code)
Based on MVC architecture
Built-in Database connection pool
Support Datasource configuration if your Servlet Container supports Datasource
Multi-databases (currently supports 6 DBMS: MySQL, Oracle, Sql Server, postgreSQL, hsqldb, Interbase/Firebird) [beta3]
Localization (currently localized in 6 languages: English, Vietnamese, Russian, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish) [beta3]
Internationalization (support all languages in the backend) [beta3]
Date/time are correctly formated based on user preferred locale [beta3]
Support automatic login (use cookie) [beta3]
New Online FAQ/Documentation [beta3]
User cannot view email until he have logged in (avoid spam and email-harvest tools)
MD5 Encrypted Passwords for greater security
Password Reset via email (forgot password)
Support IP block to prevent certain IP to access the system [beta3]
In Admin Zone, only show links that user have previledge on them [beta3]
Support realm authentication [beta3]
Support any customized authentication [beta3]
Comprehensive User Control Panel
Who's Online allows you to view all users visiting your board
User now can choose a prefered displayed language when registering [beta3]
Support Post Preview [beta3]
Users can (optionally) edit posts
Support 5 sorting options when viewing Recent threads and Threads in forum
Support most of mvnCode, such as [b] : bold, [color=deeppink] : Deep pink text
Support 5 additional tags: [quote] , [url] , [size] , [font] and [list] [beta3]
Support full mvnEmotion, such as [:)] , [:D] [improved]
User can choose avatar, either from built-in avatars or upload his own avatar (Jpg/Gif/Png) [improved]
Show link for AIM, Yahoo Messenger, ICQ [beta3]
Support Thread/Post icons [beta3]
Show new/nonew status of a forum [beta3]
Show hot/normal and new/nonew status of a thread [beta3]
Show member's title based on the number of posts [beta3]
Based on MVC architecture
Comprehensive system information and system diagnosis
Create an unlimited amount of forums
Re-order, edit forums at any time
Create an unlimited amount of categories
Re-order, edit categories at any time
Admin can view the IP of any post (both creation time and last edit time)
Enable/disable member (disabled member cannot login) [beta3]
ForumAdmin can delete any forums at any time
ForumAdmin can delete empty category [beta3]
Moderator can edit any posts at any time
Moderator can delete any posts at any time [beta3]
Moderator can delete any threads at any time [improved]
Assign members to any group at any time
Admin can remove member from group at any time
Admin can delete any groups at any time
Restrict permissions for an entire group at a time
Admin can email in the AdminZone
Allow access to the moderation features
Allow access to the Administration Control Panel
Table of Contents
mvnForum has the following system requirements:
Any App Server supports Jsp 1.2 and Servlet 2.3
JDK 1.3 or later
A JDBC 2.0-compliant database (see Section 2.3, “Database Server” for list of supported databases (this release includes 4 drivers: mm.mysql, Connector/J, postgreSQL and hsqldb)
Follow these steps to setup the application server.
Create a home folder for mvnForum, which MUST NOT be accessible from the web. This mvnForumHome folder is VERY IMPORTANT; it is where mvnForum will store uploaded attachments and the Lucene search index. mvnForum will not run if you do not configure this properly.
Unzip the distributed zip file.
Create a context in your app server. See the application server-specific configuration options for your server.
In the extracted folder, find the dir webapp\WEB-INF\classes. There are several properties files here. Open each file in a text editor and change the configuration parameters to appropriate values. In each property file are the instructions for the parameters in the configurations.
Set database parameters to the correct values. Database server-specific information is presented Section 2.3, “Database Server” and also in the header of the sql script file.
Currently you have to restart your App Server if you make changes in properties files (if not, your new config cannot take effect)
Copy the content of webapp dir in the extracted folder to the context dir that you have created above.
If you dont need some language support, just delete the folder for that language
Ex: If you dont need Vietnamese support (locale is vi), delete the folder for that language webapp/mvnplugin/mvnforum/user/vi
If you would like to change the default language of mvnForum, just copy and overwrite the content of your preferred locale to this folder webapp/mvnplugin/mvnforum/user
Ex: to change the default language from English to Vietnamese (locale is vi), just copy all files from webapp/mvnplugin/mvnforum/user/vi to webapp/mvnplugin/mvnforum/user
Following is tomcat-specific application server setup configuration information:
To create a context, create a folder beneath tomcat/webapps (for example : mvnforum). This dir (context) MUST be in lower case (such as mvnforum) and is considered the root context for this web application.
For additional information on Tomcat contexts, visit the Apache Tomcat site
Following is resin-specific application server setup configuration information: Following is a directory layout for a mvnForum installation in the ROOT context (where the <resin-root> is /var/www):
<resin-root>/mvnplugin/mvnforum (contains all JSP files)
<resin-root>/mvnplugin/WEB-INF (created by RESIN)
<resin-root>/WEB-INF/web.xml (see below)
<resin-root>/WEB-INF/lib/commons-beanutils.jar, commons-logging.jar, mvnforum.jar, myvietnam.jar (activation.jar, jndi.jar, mail.jar, and servlet.jar are in /resin/lib because they are globally used)
<resin-root>/WEB-INF/classes/*.properties files (7 files)
Following are notes on installing/configuring mvnForum in a WebLogic 7.0 context:
Copy the files from the webapps folder that came with mvnForum distribution into the weblogic applications directory and deploy it using the WLS console.
Setup the database (MySql as an example) by creating a connection pool with these parameters
number of connections: 10 (your choice here)
Create a datasource for this pool
JNDI Name: mySQLDataSource
Pool Name: mySQLConnectionPool
Do not forget to add the driver in the server classpath.
Change the mvnplugin_mvnforum_MVNForumConfig.properties file to point to your application mvnforum and mvnplugin_mvnforum_ParamOptions.properties to identify the context name (the name of the web application you deployed in the console).
In mvncore_db_DBOptions.properties, comment out all entries but USE_DATASOURCE = true and DATASOURCE_NAME=mySQLDataSource.
The only change noted to upgrade from WLS 7 to 8 is to change the ACL from mySQLConnectionPool to weblogic.jdbc.connectionPool.mySQLConnectionPool
Follow these steps to setup the mvnForum database schema and prepare the data tables with seed forum data.
Before running database scripts, we highly recommend that you back up all your data.
The database-specific notes and installation/configuration guidelines are presented in the header of each of the appropriately named .sql files (sql/mvnForum_<supported database server>.sql). We urge you to to read and follow these guidelines carefully, because it may help you avoid possible database-specific problems
In the extracted folder, find the file sql/mvnForum_<supported database server>.sql
Create a database and confirm the correct database parameters have been set in the application server configuration step
Run the script. Please see the documentation for your database server for details on how to run sql scripts. Details on the sql scripts are presented in the database server-specific sections below.
Copy the jdbc driver for your database to the WEB-INF/lib folder of your context in step 3 above. (Note that this release includes 4 drivers for MySQL, postgreSQL and hsqldb)
mvnForum includes an embedded database for hsqldb in folder sql/hsqldb, so you can copy this folder (hsqldb) to your mvnForumHome and set the proper config file mvncore_db_DBOptions.properties. This is the quickest way to get started with mvnForum
The following upgrade notes are provided to identify the database changes between versions and point to upgrade scripts where available. Remember, before running the script, we highly recommemd that you back up all your data.
The database from the beta1 and beta2 schema changed on the upgrade to beta3:
Updated database schema - mvnformForum table's unique index changed from ForumName to ForumName and CategoryID
Use this script to upgrade to beta 3 (for mySQL and other databases that support this): sql\upgrade\1_0_0_beta2_to_1_0_0_beta3\mvnForum_update_mysql.sql. Modify this file to suit your database requirements
The database from the beta3 schema changed on the upgrade to RC1:
Added two tables to the schema: mvnforumWatch and mvnforumAttachment
Use this script to upgrade from beta 3 to rc1 (find scripts for each supported database server): sql\upgrade\1_0_0_beta3_to_1_0_0_rc1\mvnForum_update_mysql.sql. Modify this file to suit your database requirements
Some key points to using MySQL as the database for persisting forum threads
Some interesting tidbits about storing the forum discussions in the postgreSQL database
Some commercial notes about a commercial product
Url: jdbc:microsoft:sqlserver://<database host name>:<port>;DatabaseName=<database name>[;property=value...]
There is a service pack available for SQL Server 2000 JDBC driver, release 1/2003.
Points of interest for Microsoft's database server solution:
Let the wisedom of the oracle guide you with this one
Driver (both 8 and 9i): oracle.jdbc.driver.OracleDriver
Url: jdbc:oracle:thin:@<database host name>:1521:<database name>
Note: If your jdbc driver is before 8.1.7, you MUST upgrade jdbc driver to 8.1.7 or later (You dont have to upgrade Oracle database, just upgrade jdbc driver) mvnForum will not run on Oracle's jdbc driver before 8.1.7
Links from o to q:
In 2001 the source code for SAPdb was released to the general public, completing SAP's roadmap for releasing their database software under a GNU/GPL user license. By doing this SAP has brought a fully-featured, enterprise-class database system to the open source community. SAP continues to update and support SAPdb through their website (www.sapdb.org) and an active mailing list (www.sapdb.org/sap_db_contact.htm).
There are no limitations on database sizes or on the number of users. SAPdb is ACID compliant (fully supports ISO-SQL 92 Standards) and includes all RDBMS and enterprise features expected in an open DBMS such as Views, triggers, foreign keys, constraints of various kinds, stored procedures, versioning, hot backups, etc. From web
Url: jdbc:sapdb://<database host name>/<database name>
JDBC driver (sapdbc.jar) is typically found in the $SAPDB_HOME/dep/misc directory of your installed SAPDB software. Be sure this is in the classpath visible to mvnForum
Links from o to q:
hsqldb is a relational database engine written in Java, with a JDBC driver, supporting a rich subset of ANSI-92 SQL (BNF tree format). It offers a small (less than 160k), fast database engine which offers both in memory and disk based tables. Embedded and server modes are available. Additionally, it includes tools such as a minimal web server, in-memory query and management tools (can be run as applets) and a number of demonstration examples.
Url: jdbc:hsqldb:<database name>
Example: if your MVNFORUM_HOME is c:\mvnForumHome and you copy the folder hsqldb (in the sql folder) to the mvnForumHome folder, then your url is:
DATABASE_URL = jdbc:hsqldb:c:\\mvnForumHome\\hsqldb\\mvnforum
Due to strange behaviour of hsqldb's IDENTITY column (begin with 0 instead of 1) then you cannot reply to the first post, which has id = 0 in this case. If you know how to start an IDENTITY column with 1, please let me know.
Read more on http://sourceforge.net/forum/forum.php?thread_id=838632&forum_id=73673
Links on help with hsqldb:
The administrator's control panel comprises a set of tools for managing the forums and users related to this context/installation of mvnForum. When you have succesfully installed the forum, there are, by default, 2 links
If you install in a context other than ROOT context, the url looks like this
home for mvnForum - http://www.[yourserver].com/[yourcontext]/mvnforum/index
Administrator Control Panel - http://www.[yourserver].com/[yourcontext]/mvnforumadmin/index
If you install in the ROOT context, the url look likes this
home for mvnForum - http://www.[yourserver].com/mvnforum/index
Administrator Control Panel - http://www.[yourserver].com/mvnforumadmin/index
Go to the Admin Zone and enter username = admin and password = admin
If Login successfully, click a Test System Configuration to check the config (If you deploy on a Linux/Unix box, Image Processing might not been supported)
The index page you see when you login also give you other info, including database and system info
Go to the Admin Zone and enter username = admin and password = admin
Change the password and edit your profile by clicking Forum Index -> MyProfile
Click Forum Management to create categories/forums for your community
You can create new users and set permissions for these new users
Following are some helpful thoughts on what to do and where to look if you are having troubles with setting up or using mvnForum after your installation/upgrade
Make sure you meet the system requirements
Make sure you have read this installation guide carefully
Make sure you setup from the binary distribution package, not the source distribution package. If you have the source package, please see read the build instructions
Make sure you have read the short database guide in sql/mvnForum_<database>.sql carefully
Error executing SQL in MVNForumPermissionWebHelper.getPermissionsForGroupGuest
It means you have not configured your database properly. BEFORE printing this error in the stacktrace mvnForum also prints other information that details the EXACT DATABASE PROBLEM. Please review the stacktrace, it and find a string beginning with:
Can't create a new connection in DBConnectionPool. URL = ....
You can configure the log4j.properties to log all messages to file and use this file to find your database problem
Cannot upload an avatar to the server
This is most likely an image support problem, please search the mvnForum for keyword headless
Error says 'Cannot update table Thread where primary key = (3)
This is probably a database driver issue. Some drivers do not properly support the JDBC standards needed by mvnForum. See this thread for more
If all else fails...gather this information and post a question
Your mvnForum version (such as rc1, build 24 April 2003)
Your OS version (Such as Windows 2000 service pack 2)
Your App Server version (Such as Tomcat 4.1.24)
Your Database version (Such as Mysql 3.23.51)
Your JDBC driver version (Such as mysql-connector-java-3.0.8-stable-bin.jar)
Your mvnForum .properties files content
Any stacktrace that you found
Any other information that you think useful to solve the problem
Follow these steps to access mvnForum source code and build mvnForum binaries from source code. To access the source code, use CVS to checkout the latest files from the shared project repository maintained on SourceForge. There are currently 2 modules, myvietnam and mvnforum.
Anonymous CVS Access
The project's Sourceforge.net CBS repository can be checked out through anonymous (pserver) CBS with the following instructions
The module you wish to check out muts be specified as the modulename.
When prompted for a password for the anonymous user, press the ENTER key.
cvs -d:pserver:firstname.lastname@example.org:/cvsroot/mvnforum login
cvs -z3 -d:pserver:email@example.com:/cvsroot/mvnforum co modulename
Updates from within the module's directory do not need the -d parameter
Developer CVS Access via SSH
Only project developers can access the CVS tree via this method. SSH1 must be installed on your client machine. Substitute modulename and developername with the proper values. Enter your site password when prompted.
cvs -z3 -d:ext:<developername>@cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/mvnforum co modulename
Please mail the Project Administrators (found at www.sourceforge.net/projects/mvnforum) to include your Sourceforge User ID (in other words you need to be a registered user on SourceForge) to the MvnForum project. You cannot commit your changes until your SourceForge user ID has been assigned to the project.
The Eclipse V2.1 Java Development Environment (www.eclipse.org) has a very intuitive GUI for CVS access, using the extssh protocol in combination with the Sourceforge user ID and password. With a few clicks you have checked out the mvnForum project and are ready to participate in MvnForum development!
Build the source code
Get the source code, if you have the source package, just extract it to a folder. If you don't have the source package or you would like to build the newest development source code, check out from CVS. See the CVS.txt for detailed information.
Download ant build tool from http://jakarta.apache.org, then config it (please see the document from the ant package)
cd to folder myvietnam, then type ant
cd to folder myvietnam, then type ant
the mvnForum webapp is created in folder mvnforum/build/webapp
To perform general forum administration tasks, such as testing the configuration of the forum installation or building the search index, visit the Miscellaneous tasks page.
To test the database, mail support, indexing support and image processing support, click the Test System Configuration link on the Miscellaneous page or on the Admin Control Panel page. The following system parameters are tested. A brief explanation on the significance of each and where to look to correct the problem.
Support JNDI - required for the Java Application Server to locate the forum framework classes. If this is missing then most likely the forum is not installed properly.
Java SQL Ext - the standard Java SQL extensions provide standard connection pool via the javax.sql.DataSource
Java Activation Framework - required for JavaMail to send email
Java Mail - the Java Mail extension is used to process SMTP messages sent from the administrator and by the Forum Watch system
Jakarta BeanUtils - required for common upload to upload avatar images
Jakarta Common Logging - the Java Common Logging interface is a common interface for logging messages and used by mvnforum as the template for logging events and errors - this interface can be extended to provide custom loggins solutions
Jakarta Regular Expressions - regular expressions are used to filter prohibited IP
Jakarta Lucene - a complete content indexing and searching interface that supports the forum thread search capabililities
Image Processing - used to support uploading avatar icons and other image processing in future releases
mvnForum provides a comprehensive set of search features that enable the user to find posts by author, post topic, and date. The search features are supported by Jakarta's Lucene project. Lucene builds an index configured by mvnforum which speeds user's searches of the forum content. To rebuild the index, click on the Rebuild Searching Index.
mvnForums follows a typical structure for grouping discussions into common interests. To manage these groups of discussions, an administrator can create, edit and delete forum categories and forums using the Forum Management interface. Accessed from the forums administration control panel, the forum management interface shows the list of current categories and forums. Use the links provided to manage forum categories and forums.
Forum categories are top-level groups of forums. An administrator can create categories, add and remove forums from a category and remove categories.
Add Category - click on the Add new Category link near the top of the page to load the category creation screen. A category simply has a name and a description. Use a short enough description to give forum users a concise understanding of the types of forums they will expect to find in the category.
Edit Category - click on the edit icon () on the right side of the row of the forum you want to edit to navigate to the category edit screen. Change the description of the category or the category sort order.
Delete Category - Because of the danger of removing categories, the web interface only allows deleting empty categories. To delete a category, first delete all the forums.
Edit Group Permissions - This is not currently enabled, see the Todo List.
Forums are groups of topics sharing a common thread or subject. The forum is the common meeting place for people to share ideas and ask questions on topics where they can expect to receive answers from people sharing interests and knowledge on the topics in the forum. To administer the list of forums supported by your site, navigate to the Forum Management interface accessed in the administrator control panel.
Add Forum - click on the Add Forum link in the Add Forum column of the Forum Category you want to add the forum to. To add a forum, the category must first exist. If you have not added a category, visit the Category Management help.
Edit Forum - click on the edit icon ) on the right side of the row of the forum you want to edit to navigate to the category edit screen. The forums are children of the categories they belong to and can be differentiated because they have the icon to the left of their names while categories are on the left margin.
Changes you can make to a forum
Change the category the forum belongs to by selecting another category from the list
Update the name and description of the forum
Update the sort order of the forum. This moves the forum's location within the list of forums in a category.
Enable a forum. By default all new forums are enabled, but you may want to temporarily disable a forum. Uncheck the box to disable the forum.
Table of Contents
Account management involves creating accounts, managing your profile, and watching threads
To actively participate in a forum, users will want to establish accounts with the forum so that they can be notified of updates to a forum or a thread; so that they can customize their profile; and so that they can be credited with their participation. To create a new user account, click on the New User link in the navigation bar near the top of the forum page. Once you have clicked on this link, the forum loads a template for creating a new user account.
Complete the fields on this form and click the Register button at the bottom. The fields with the star icon (*) are required for successfully creating a new user account. See the Section 4.2, “Profile Settings” for further explanation of the fields on this form.
Users have access to forums based on the group they belong to. The following permission-based forum groups are provided by mvnForum as a framework for enabling certain users as moderators and forum administrators
Normal user - can use avatar; send messages; add and read posts/threads; get attachments
Forum Moderator - adds to Normal user - can edit Forum/Category; delete post; manage polls (to be added); and use attachments
Forum Admin - adds to Moderator - can delete Forum/Category
User accounts can be customized by changing the user profile settings. The settings are stored by the forum and tied to each user account. Following are the profile settings available and an explanation for each
User Profile Settings
Member ID - Shows this profile user's member id. The member ID is a unique identifier used to create posts, participate in watches and moderate forums.
First Name - Shows this profile user's first name
Last Name - Shows this profile user's last name
Email - Shows the email this profile is associated with. To receive watch notifications and allow other users to contact you offline, enter a valid email account address you have access to.
Show Email - Shows whether this profile's email will be shown on posts and in the user lists. To disable the display of your email address, uncheck this option.
Name Visible - Shows whether this profile's name is visible in posts. To post anonymously using your profile, uncheck this option.
Address - Shows this user's address
City - Shows this user's city
State - Shows this user's state
Country - Shows this user's country
Gender - Shows this user's gender
Birthday - Shows this user's date of birth
Career - Shows this user's profession or avocation
Home page - Shows this user's home page or a link this user considers to be particularly intersting
Cool Link 1 - Shows a link this user considers to be particularly cool
Cool Link 2 - Shows a second link this user considers to be particularly cool
Yahoo ID - Shows the Yahoo ID for this profile. mvnForum shows this icon and a link to access the user's messenger ID on each post.
AOL ID - Shows the AOL ID for this profile. mvnForum shows this icon and a link to access the user's messenger ID on each post.
ICQ ID - Shows the ICQ ('I seek you') or client for IRC ('Internet Relay Chat') ID for this profile. mvnForum shows this icon and a link to access the user's messenger ID on each post.
MSN ID - Shows the Microsoft Messenger ID for this profile. mvnForum shows this icon and a link to access the user's messenger ID on each post.
Signature - Shows the signature this profile uses. Signatures are statements that are appended to the end of each profile.
Join Date - Shows the date this user created this profile
Last Login - Shows the date the user logged in last
Last profile update - Shows the last time this profile was updated
Posts - Shows the number of posts this user has made
Views - Shows the number of times this profile has been viewed
Once an account has been created, you can change your profile settings. The changes might reflect a new email address, a changed name, or an update to a signature.
To make a change, log in to the forum site and click on thelink in the forum navigation bar (usually located near to top of the page). Click on the link to access the profile editing form.
Make changes to your profile settings and click on thebutton at the bottom of the form.
The email address is an important part of your profile. mvnForum uses the email address to notify you of changes to forums and threads you are watching. Make sure to keep this address up to date.
To make a change, log in to the forum site and click on thelink in the forum navigation bar (usually located near to top of the page). Click on the link to access the email editing form.
Update your email address, confirm the change, and click on thebutton at the bottom of the form.
Your password is how you protect your account from being used by others to create and change forum posts under your member ID.
mvnForum stores the passwords in a database, encrypted through a MD5 algorithm (MD5 is a one-way encryption which is very hard to crack) that is very safe even if someone can access to the database, mvnForum require password with at least 3 character).
To make a change, log in to the forum site and click on thelink in the forum navigation bar (usually located near to top of the page). Click on the link to access the password editing form.
Enter your original password, enter a new password, confirm the change, and click on thebutton at the bottom of the form.
Avatars are the icons that will be displayed along with your posts, a nice way to customize your posts. You can either use an avatar provided by the forum, or provide your own avatar icon. Currently, mvnForum supports avatar images of the following formats: Jpg, Gif, and Png with heights and widths no more than 150 pixels and a total compressed size of no more than 60,000 bytes.
To change you avatar, either select from the list of predefined avatars or load you own avatar to the forum.
To use a predefined avatar image, select from the list of avatars in the list provided in section 1. Click thebutton below the list
To use a your own avatar image, either click thebotton or enter the path and file name in the text box in section 2. With the name of the file in the text box, click the button to load the image onto the forum site.
The signature is a statement, quote, or disclaimer the forum will attach to the bottom of each post you make.
To make a change, log in to the forum site and click on thelink in the forum navigation bar (usually located near to top of the page). Click on the link to access the signature editing form.
Update your signature and click thebutton at the bottom of the form.
To confirm that you have entered a valid email address, you must activate your account. An activated account can participate in the forum watches.
To activate your account, click on thelink on the login page or on the link on the My Profile page once you have logged in.
Enter your member ID and your email address and click on thebutton at the bottom of the form.
mvnForum will attempt to send this email account activation instructions. Once you receive the activation code, return to mvnforum and use the link in your activation email to activate your account.
mvnForum provides a common means to track updates to threads in a forum you have a particular interest or responses to posts you make. This means is called a watch. A watch is the request to receive notifications (currently by email) of updates to posts or threads in a forum that you are interested in following. To request watches, you must activate your account.
To request a watch, log in to the forum site and click on thelink in the forum navigation bar (usually located near to top of the page). Click on the link to access the watch management form.
In this form, review your currently active threads. The types of watches available are global watches, category watches, forum watches, and thread watches.
Description of Watch Types
Global watch - watch all the posts in all the forums in all the categories - this could get quite busy
Category watch - watch all the posts in all the forums in in a particular category
Forum watch - watch all the posts in a particular forum
Thread watch - watch all the updates to a particular thread
To create a watch, click on thelink in the My Watch header. Select your watch type by clicking on one of the bullets in the list.
Creating Watches by Type
Global watch - the form will inform you that you will be watching the whole system
Category watch - the form will load the list of categories currently available to watch. To watch more than 1 category you must create one watch for each category.
Forum watch - the form will load the list of forums currently available to watch. The list is grouped by category with the forum names under the dashed lines. To watch more than 1 forum you must create one watch for each forum; to watch all the forums in a category, create a category watch.
Thread watch - the form will prompt you for a thread ID. Thread IDs can be seen in the URL of the page displaying the thread. Alternatively, if the URL is not available (ie, if the forum is embedded in frames), then the thread ID can be found my holding you mouse over many of the icon links on a post page.
Either select the category/forum or enter the thread id and click on thebutton at the bottom of the form.
To delete a watch, navigate to the watch summary page and click on thelink to the right of the watch you wish to terminate.
A post is a comment or question to post to a forum that should have some relationship to the topics represented in the forum. Posts that do not adhere to the theme of the forum are considered 'off topic' and quite often posting off topic is considered taboo (and can be moderated, and may even result in being banned from the forum).
To start a discussion about a topic of interest or to respond to comment or question posed in another thread, you create a post. The first post in a thread defines the name of the thread. Therefore, the topic of the first post in a thread should be descriptive enough to give participants in a forum enough of an idea what the question is or what your opinion is that they can decide whether to participate without having to access the post's body.
A post has the following basic elements
Topic - the title of the post, which is also the title of the thread if this is the first post in the thread. Should be a concise declaration of your question or observation
Body - the full text of the post, including links to images and content on external web sites.
Post icon - an optional icon to associate with this post/thread
Signature - your signature to append to the end of the post.
Formatting - html formatting options for text and smilies icons in the post.
To access the post editing form to create a new post, either
click on thelink in the forum navigation menu to access the Category/Forum list. Click on the name of the forum to access the thread link. Click on the link near the top right corner of the list of threads in the forum.
(with a post active) click on thelink near the top right corner of the list of threads in the forum or the bottom right corner of the list of threads.
(with a post active) click on thelink in the top right corner of a particular post to reply to the post in question.
With the post editing form loaded, enter the Topic, body, post icon and click thebutton or the button at the bottom of the form.
By default, a new post will present the text the user typed into the body section as plain text without any formatting. The one exception to this is that carraige returns will be preserved and presented to readers as new lines. To edit the format of posts, use the basic formatting tools provided in the 'normal' mode or the enchanged mode which adds the ability to nest formatting tags.
To format a section of text, such as to emphasis it with bold lettering, or to include a link to an external image such as an image on a website you wish to refer to in your post, use the buttons in the Format section of the post edit page. Using the normal mode to use the formatting buttons to insert a formatting instruction, click on the button and enter the text you want to format in the given manner. In other words, to format a section of text to be bold, click on thebutton, enter the text to be made bold, and click the OK button on the dialog.
mvnForum users are able to perform activities in the forum environment based on the group(s) they belong to. In addition to being able to manage forums and create threads, mvnForum will support limiting read and/or edit individual forums based on inclusion in a group. Only site administrators can currently manage group membership. See the administrator group management documentation for further information.