Recent Activity Accentuation in YetAnotherForum.NET 1.9.4

I told you about the recent YetAnotherForum.NET fun I’ve been having with the YAF 1.9.4 beta bits when I described a new ForumLink user control a few days ago.  I also told you there were more new YetAnotherForum features coming, but that I wasn’t going to say anything until the pages were online.  I changed my mind. 🙂

I want to tell you about the expanded Recent Activity lists you’ll be seeing when YetAnotherForum.NET 1.9.4 makes its appearance on Sueetie.com.  You’ll be seeing this on Gummy Bear as well, of course, and perhaps on other YAF.NET sites, too.  Item Four on the Sueetie Manifesto states, "All enhancements made to .NET Open Source applications on a Sueetie project are given back to the original application community."  Meaning that the crack YAF.NET core team knows where to find me and that I am at their service.

I had a teleconference with a group of seriously cool guys in IT and marketing yesterday to discuss Sueetie and open source .NET community solutions.  As I told them, "YetAnotherForum.NET is enterprise-ready and all of the pieces are there.  I came along with Sueetie and said, ‘Wow!  This forum app’s fantastic.  And it does all this?  And I have the source code to change it and make it do this, too?’" We also talked about the fruits of seeing YetAnotherForum.NET with a fresh perspective and appreciation for its capabilities that perhaps some may take for granted.  The final word? Look for big things to come for YetAnotherForum.NET from many fronts.

Back to the Recent Activity mod.  There was actually very little coding involved.  Everything was already built-in.  All of the security and display logic was done.  I simply moved a few things around.  Below are two screenshots, the first is YAF.NET as it currently appears on Sueetie.com, where the Recent Activity list is almost portrayed as an afterthought. The second is the Recent Activity display (on my development server) as the forum area main page, along with new Unanswered and Most Popular topic displays.

You’ll also notice some reformatting.  One of the areas of "new YAF.NET appreciation" is its rich community support features.  When 1.9.4 is online you’ll find that more Sueetie Community features are folded into YAF.NET services, features like Conversations and a new [very sweet] Dashboard that you’ll be hearing more about later.  With Community in mind, you’ll notice that member avatars have been added to the display, along with information on who started the topic, when, and how many replies to the post. I should mention that the user data is a combination of Sueetie and YAF elements.  The Sueetie User Avatar is used exclusively, for instance, and most references to the Display Name are to the SueetieUser object.

Rather than the Recent Activity control sharing the spotlight with Forum Categories as we saw in the first screenshot, Recent Activity is now it’s own page.  How that happens technically is that su_recent.ascx is added to YAF /pages folder.  I’m prefixing Sueetie pages with "su_".  YetAnotherForum link logic is easy to work with.  Each "page" (all of which ultimately derive from the UserControl object, with a visit to ForumPage and SueetieBaseControl along the way) are referenced by their filename corresponding to a value in the YAF.Config.ForumPages enumerator class, and then called with the YafBuildLink.GetLink() method.  Slick.  I’ll let the pictures tell the tale.

To populate the DataTable objects I took a quick detour to Sueetie.Forums which references the YetAnotherForum libraries, making the addition of custom data actions a snap.

Now that I broke my promise and started telling you about some of the YetAnotherForum.NET Cool in the works, look for more posts soon.  Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when they’re online.

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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.