Improved IMDb Message Boards

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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I am pleased to announce the availability of a new boards update.

This newly-launched version of the boards features a number of visual and functional changes, including incorporation of our new avatars.

This change is (currently) only on the IMDb.com website -- mobile apps and the mobile-optimized version of the site (m.imdb.com) are not affected.

Although this change will be eventually be permanent, it is currently offered as an opt-in/opt-out for a brief period while we are testing it and evaluate performance and your feedback.

What's new from a visual standpoint:

  • Incorporation of avatars on all views and posts
  • Visual style has been updated to match the main site
  • Switch between view styles (nest, flat, etc) on client (fast!) rather than the server
  • Original poster is highlighted in posts
  • IMDb staff are highlighted in posts.
  • More information in the header of the post.


To improve performance we removed some little-used features:

  • Themes (user selectable color backgrounds)
  • Publicly facing "website" and "email" fields


To opt-in and test the new boards, please look for the announcement at the top of page in any of the boards and click on 'Try it Now' (see image below). During this testing phase you'll be able to return to the old board style if you click on 'Switch Back'.






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Giancarlo Cairella, Official Rep

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Posted 6 years ago

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littlefuzzy

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Longer thread titles are cut off with the new look. This might be related to a recent Firefox update, that seemed to change the appearance of all my boards (maybe they increased font size, changed the default font, or did something else that messed with visibility.)

New look:
(from I Need to Know)
Teens/kids battle vampires inside a high school. PLEASE HE...

Young guy and a senior playing chess (probably a 90s mo...

mid 90s movie scene with a creepy guy offering a kid an ...

Old b/w film. Female stoaway. Ship sank. Scream of the s...

SOLVED: Cello/ piano music used in Jimmy Kimmel Hands...

Old boards:
Teens/kids battle vampires inside a high school. PLEASE HELP.

Young guy and a senior playing chess (probably a 90s movie)

mid 90s movie scene with a creepy guy offering a kid an apple

Old b/w film. Female stoaway. Ship sank. Scream of the shipSOLVED

SOLVED: Cello/ piano music used in Jimmy Kimmel Handsome Men Club sketch
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ed warner

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i'd love it if the - Your Favorite Message Boards - pages were put in order of latest posting - newest first - just for convenience
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DrakeStraw

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Why not user choices? Current order doesn't make sense.
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gromit82, Champion

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The times of the posts are not displayed properly anymore. Instead of showing dates and times down to the second, we just see things like "10 hours ago" or "4 days ago". We should get the full dates and times back again.
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DrakeStraw

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I'd want the full dates and times even if there is no more room for "ago" times. I hate them any way.
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GamaRex

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I agree with you both. I also dislike the absence of the year in the dates of Message Board posts for the current year. It's much harder to scan a long, nested thread. In this board, I can't think of any reason for not including the date/time.
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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We'll restore the year for recent posts in the next few days.
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SP

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Concerning the timestamp, the ideal would be to have both the "ago" times and the full dates on posts, as it used to be in the old design. You had only the "10 hours ago" or "4 days ago" information but changed it back to the full date because of user complains, and that’s cool, it means that you are doing a good job listening to us. Unfortunately for some of us the full date timestamp is problematic because we don’t work on Pacific Time, which is IMDb’s standard time, so we have to hover over every single post to see the “ago” times and know when exactly it was written. A good solution would be to make both visible once again. If you don’t think it suits the new design, maybe you could find a way of allowing users to set their own time zone. I think that solution would make everyone happy, although I have no idea if it is technically possible.

I already suggested it here: getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/select_time_zones

I hope something can be done about it.

Also, although my previous complain (about the removal of the themes selection) hasn’t been addressed yet (probably meaning that the themes are gone for good), I still think that this time the IMDb staff deserves a pat on the back for actively solving most of the problems pointed out by the users. I’ve criticized you on other occasions for not listening to us, now is the time to praise your work. So, yeah, nice job! ;)
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Emperor, Champion

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Anyone else getting 500 errors on the film/TV show message boards?
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Emperor, Champion

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Weird.

I'm using the new system and it was every one I checked.

However, it now seems to be working.
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Emperor, Champion

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And now I'm getting 500s on all message boards again.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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This is truly weird. I was able to access about a dozen message boards without any problems. Are you still having problems, or did it go away like last time?
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Emperor, Champion

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Let me check... yep working again.

Also worth noting that the message board area of the main page for the entry is also empty when I get the 500 errors, so I can usually tell if there I'm going to get the error.
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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Boards with no posts were causing "500" errors; we've fixed that.
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ed warner

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60% of the time my replies work all the time on imdb message boards

do i have to put @ in every reply i do ugh
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GamaRex

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Why was the display of a title's release year dropped from film titles in the new version of the Message Boards?

Switching between the new and old versions of the boards shows the difference.
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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We'll be putting the year back in the next few days.
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BMF125

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Is there a reason why the "Try It Now" button doesn't show up on IE browsers? I do a lot of my posting from work and I'm stuck with IE.
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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This should now be fixed.
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Paula

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Please make all the text on message boards show correctly at all text sizes in all browsers. I use latest Firefox and "Control + +" to make text bigger.

NEW LOOK:



OLD LOOK:



And I only just noticed you missed the YEAR off the dates.

The movies I watch are years old and not currently the most popular. I could be replying to a post, without knowing it was posted several YEARS ago! It's stupid to miss off the year - Please put the year back!

God why do you have to MESS with it, when it was fine to begin with?
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(closed account)

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Oops, I was wrong. THANKS to gromit82 for correcting my error!
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Paula

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gromit82 says:
*** "Actually, it seems that the year is shown only for posts that are more than one year and one day old. " ***

OK so it's not as bad as I first thought, but I still don't like the year missed off the current year. It's not as if you have to pay hosting by the number of characters is it? Why omit the current year?
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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We'll be making a change in the next few days to always show the year.

As for "zoom" mode -- what browser /version are you using? Zoom mode is working fine for us when using a recent version of Firefox and Chrome.
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Paula

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I said in the initial post I use the latest Firefox. The two screenshots are of the latest Firefox which updates on auto.

Did yours not have the bottom of the thread title off?

The fact that you used the word "zoom" might be the answer.

Technically I do not use "zoom" mode, as this includes making IMAGES bigger (and that's not acceptable, as small images then appear low quality when zoomed). So I have the browser set to "ONLY INCREASE TEXT SIZE".

Please can you replicate that, and see what that looks like.

thanks
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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Ah, gotcha now. Yup, we'll fix this.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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The IMDb Technical Staff should consider guidelines that the Web Accessibility Initiative has developed.

http://www.w3.org/WAI/Resources/
The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) develops strategies, guidelines, and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with disabilities.

See also:
http://www.ada.gov/websites2.htm
The American Disability Act (ADA):
Accessibility of State and Local Government Websites
to People with Disabilities
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Emperor, Champion

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^^^ Always vitally important and a legal requirement in some countries, especially important for IMDB as it is (at least partly) a UK company:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_acce...
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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Do you have some specific recommendations?
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Lucus, thanks. That is one of the specific pages from WCAG 2 that I intended to reference.

Murray Chapman,
Here are my preliminary recommendations.

I believe there are three specific issues that the new design needs to address for users with disabilities:
1. Users should be able to enlarge the text on the page in their browsers and still be able to read the page.
2. People with color blindness should be able to adjust the colors of the page. This is why removing styles is probably counterproductive.
3. Audio readers should be able to parse the text and provide meaningful audio.

In addition, it may be a good idea to contact the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and similar organizations. According to their AFB Tech page [http://www.afb.org/section.aspx?Folde...]
AFB Tech's product evaluations can show your company how to get accessible products into the hands of people with vision loss—and maximize profits. AFB Tech is the only organization of its kind to offer objective, comprehensive accessibility reviews of products for people who have lost some or all of their vision. AFB Tech can also help your company comply with section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, opening the door to government contracts.

Contact AFB TECH [http://www.afb.org/section.aspx?Folde...:]
AFB Tech
1000 Fifth Ave. Suite 350
Huntington, WV 25701
(304) 523-8651
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cartman_1337

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When someone does changes to an already working design, I always ask myself "why do they do this?" Most of the time the answer is that they want to make the site look and feel more modern and/or professional. Which is fair enough. But with that in mind, I've got to ask; which of the examples below do you really feel looks more professional?

Example 1: Marking text in a board, old design vs. proposed new.

or


My take: well, this really speaks for itself. In the old design, when marking text, the markup stayed within the borders of the board system. It looks uniform and professional, as it should. In the new, the markup covers the screen, far beyond the borders of the board, and it looks REALLY bad!

Example 2: Header of a thread, old vs. new.

or


My take: the old design has less spacing, and goes straight to business. What is the use of having the thread title above the first post in the new design, when the title is already there at the top of the first post as well? What's worse, the title at the top is even shortened, which makes it look REALLY unprofessional, by my standards.

Example 3: A board's thread list, old vs. new.

or


My take: The avatars of the OP screws up the spacing of the board list, and makes the list look bad. The shortened names of long thread names does really not look more professional than the old way either. Especially considering there is a LOT of spacing between the "Started by", "Replies" and "Latest posting" columns in the new design. Tighten the columns, and use the freed up space for more characters in the thread title column. That column should allow as long names as a thread name is allowed to be.

Conclusion
All of these things makes the new look look and feel far LESS professional than before, although I'll grant you that they do look slightly more modern. But a modern look should now come at the behest of a professional look, when it all that is needed to get both are just a few small alterations. Please fix these things before you go live with it.
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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Thanks for this excellent feedback; having concrete suggestions with examples makes it really easy for us to research and think about changes.

Regarding your specific issues:

1. Text selection: this is a browser-specific problem. Chrome behaves this way but Firefox doesn't.

2. Repeating the thread title: we put the thread title at the top of the page because when you go to page 2+ the first post on the page may have a different title. We don't like the way that the text is elided and will look at changing it, but for technical reasons that may take some time.

3. Column layout: this is a judgment call. Some boards tend to have many threads with long titles, and others tend to have shorter titles. We've tried to strike a balance between clipping the user name and the post title, and tried to optimize it across all boards. It's obviously not the optimal choice for the example you show, but it wouldn't be hard to find a corresponding case where the nicknames are clipped despite there being lots of whitespace in the thread titles. That being said, we'll take another look at column widths.
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(closed account)

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Regarding column layout:

Just experimentally, I'm using a browser add-on to override a CSS rule, so that the thread titles are not truncated. I'm simply overriding a "nowrap" rule, so that the titles are shown in full and can occupy multiple lines. (I'm also using another CSS rule to hide the avatars, because I don't care to see them.)

I hope that my temporary private personal experimental use of such CSS overrides doesn't break any rules (no pun intended).
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cartman_1337

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Thanks for addressing this.

Re: text selection; it works properly in Chrome with the old layout. Why doesn't it work in the new?
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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IMDb users daily poll
What do you think of the new look of the IMDb Message Board?
http://moviesdailypoll.blogspot.com/

I will report back the results of this user survey upon its conclusion.
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Pencho15

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Great, let's vote.
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Mia Capone

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Semi OT: I like the survey but not thrilled with the "meh" choice. That is an annoying word. jmo
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Chuckle! I mentally filtered out the word in the kick starter poll. I also find the word "meh" annoying and overused.
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GamaRex

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Years in post dates
I'm trying to comprehend the rationale for omitting the year in the dates for posts. I use the nested format, and generally do quick eye scans for years when looking at dates. When they're consistent, that works fine, but with no years, the continuity of the eye scan is broken.

I can't explain, for example, why a message posted today gets a year, one posted 2 days prior gets a year, and one posted a month prior does not.

Here's a timely example:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0217505/b...

Since the dates will likely have changed by the time most read it, I'll copy below the date portions of 3 messages as they appear, in ascending order:

by caprika12
Sun Jun 2 10:21

by dstone2418
Fri Jul 5 2013 00:12

by didyagripweed-2
Sun Jul 7 2013 11:30
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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We're going to change this so it always shows the year.
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(closed account)

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M.C. wrote: > "We're going to change this so it always shows the year."

That's good! Thanks!
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GamaRex

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Thanks, Murray. I'm sure that complete dates will be an improvement, and I can't imagine that there would be users who would complain that the year IS present in the post date.
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ed warner

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dear murray chapman - can you have a line in the text box that clearly separates the signature

cheers

or make it a different font colour?
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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The boards system considers a signature to be text that's automatically inserted into the input form when you create a post, reply to a post, or write a PM. This allows people to delete/change the signature if they want on a post-by-post basis.

The downside of this is that the boards system doesn't know where the post body ends and the signature begins -- they're stored internally in the same post field.

You can use markup in your signature, so it should be pretty easy to change the color of your signature to whatever you want.
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(closed account)

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I favor solutions commonly used by other forums, which automatically format signatures so that they are unobtrusive as well as clearly distinguished.

For example, one of the other forums that I frequently visit (one that uses customized XenForo software) does all of the following automatically:

(1) include a simple, unobtrusive separator line, and (2) use a smaller default font for the sig, and (3) use a slightly faded default font-color for the sig, and (4) impose some carefully-considered restrictions on sig formatting and content.
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(closed account)

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(Continued from my previous comment)

Normally, I would tend to favor allowing users to control the formatting of their posts as much as possible, within reason. However, in the case of signatures, it turns out that there are some valid reasons to consider imposing some automatic default formatting and some restrictions on sig content. I therefore favor doing so as I suggested above.
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ed warner

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80% of imdb users dont know what markup is - change the name of that link - call it - "edit tips" or something

the problem isn't with me/my signature - it's with reading 80% of imdb and their awful not separated signatures lol

help them
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Emperor, Champion

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Or you could just add one of these above the text in your signature:

---------------

_________

+++++++++

=========

..................

~~~~~~~~~

""""""""""""""

¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬

***************
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ed warner

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markup enabled - needs to be called something else - for 80% of the imdb users to even click on it in the first place

but yes dividers like that should be what separates the signature from the post - or have it in a completely separate box in bold font or a different colour
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Emperor, Champion

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but yes dividers like that should be what separates the signature from the post


Ah but this way you get to add whatever divider you want - the choice is endless (OK not endless, but if you factor in a variable number of characters it is pretty wide - all before we delve into the more unusual characters)
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ed warner

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no i think you're missing the point - 80% of imdb are too lazy to separate their signatures - hence imdb has to find a way to do it for them - they dont know markup enabled exists e.t.c

hence i said the easiest way might be to just have it in a completely separate box

i don't have a problem with my own signature

it's everyone else's

_________________________________________________________________
signature
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Emperor, Champion

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But you don't need markup to add those characters to your sig. All you need to do is see your post, think "hmm I'd like to separate my sig from my posts" and they are off.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Bug for Private Messages



The current message board software properly links to the sender of the message.
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur42152831/



The new message board software links to the receiver's account instead of the sender of the message.
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur0127678/

This bug only occurs for private messages. It does not occur on the message boards.
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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Thanks, this will be fixed soon.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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I just checked. It appears this bug for private messages is fixed.
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vhavnal

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How about adding a shortcut to some of the most common things used on a message board such as [b] < BOLD [i]< Italics, [spoiler]< such as the one i'm using via a greasemonkey script (which doesn't work with the new board)

[quote][/quote] [url][/url] [b][/b] [i][/i] [spoiler][/spoiler] etc....



Also, when can we expect INTERNAL LINKINGS on message boards? such as
[link=nm0000123] appearing as George Clooney and a link to his IMDb page like we have for swiki pages and IMDb Lists?
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Providing shortcuts to the markup codes along with the internal linking would be useful.

Post from bbsadmin 16 hours ago (Mon Jul 8 2013 15:15:30)
http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000040/i...
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vhavnal

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atleast one part was implemented (Y) and i hope they give the 2nd part a try too..not saying they need to use the swiki format of adding links, but some format which will work..and the swiki format is quite easy to learn...
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Spadaduh

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When I look at posts in the new message board format, the posts look like this:

THE LONE RANGER sucked! I almost went to the box offi
ce and got a refund! Johnny Derp needs a new schtick pro
nto Tonto!

It splits up the words instead of starting the next line with the next word or what follows the hyphen. I have tried different browsers but it is the same with all of them.
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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Yup, this was an unfortunate side-effect of trying to resolve the "long url" breakage issue (see above). We'll revert this change; it's made things worse.
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ed warner

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how do i unsubscribe from this page? - i get an email when every single person posts in here
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GamaRex

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I believe all you need to do is click your "Dashboard" at the top of the page, and click "Unfollow" for this board.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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1. Click on "Your Dashboard & Account"
2. Click on "Email & Notifications"
3. Uncheck the boxes for:
  • Send me email at my primary email address about new replies on topics I have posted, replied to, or followed

  • Send me email at my primary email address about new topics posted on products that I follow
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cartman_1337

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There's a link in the e-mails you receive called "Stop following this update". That might help. ;)
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Emperor, Champion

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Oddly the layout switched back to the old style just now. Is it set by a cookie with a short time span? I wasn't logged out and didn't even leave the site.
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Steve Crook, Champion

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The new format seems to break part way through words and wrap them onto the next line



Steve
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Giancarlo Cairella, Official Rep

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Yep, see comments above. This is a new known glitch and it's being fixed.
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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This should be fixed later today.
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Steve Crook, Champion

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Thanks both

Steve
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Steve, other people have reported this problem. Murray Chapman (IMDb Employee) is working the issue.

Murray, according to Wolfram Alpha, the average length of an English word is 5.1 characters. As a general rule, words that are ten characters or less probably should not be divided, but placed on the next line intact.

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=...

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