Comments/Suggestion to the new portal/forums

Comments/Suggestion to the new portal/forums

[quote:4a11d65a63="hkwongkit"]Now that you've provided a 'Name' field why not make this a mandatory entry and forget about dispaying the 'user name' which is confusing for most if not all readers. Also the 'user name' is only used by the user himself/herself when log-in and administration/software for verification purpose.[/quote]
[quote:4a11d65a63="tmichael"]I'd like to support KK's suggestion, but only if people are going to use their real names.......

Also it's fairly clear that the system for filing photos under family groups is running into a few problems.

I'd be happy to help sort it out, but clearly people also need to check in a reference book which group photos should be filed under.[/quote]
[quote:4a11d65a63="mkoren"]I can also quite understand that some people don't like their login ID and don't want it displayed. I think mine is quite ugly, and it doesn't bear any relationship to any form of my name that I use. Apart from this, for security reasons there are good arguments for keeping login IDs private.

……In a database you can search by login ID, real name, user name or any other piece of information. So if I had chosen a login ID of korenm (or jsmith, or abcde) instead of mkoren, the administrators should just be able to search using this information and find out my real name and other information. Similarly, if I choose that the only information about me that is displayed is my name, which I enter as "Batman", the administrators should be able to search for this name and find my real name very simply. Why do the admins have to "check 8 possible options" as Forrest said in one of his earlier posts - doesn't this software have a proper search option in its administrative functions?

Personally, I would prefer to just display my name (in whatever form I care to enter it) and have my username and real name kept for access by admins only. [/quote]

Thank you very much for your comments/suggestion which are positive and useful for us to further improve the portal.

The program now we adopted is called phpBB2plus which is one of the famous freeware for web portal/forum. I think KK Hui will be very familiar with it since he is a forum moderator of the website ( - a very famous photography website about nature) since it is also adopting the phpBB2 program (the simple version of phpBB2plus).

Not just in this phpBB2plus program but including many other famous freeware, the login ID is being used as the name of a user and displayed in all his posts and even everywhere in the forums. Can KK please advise whether his forum has encountered any security problem for not keeping login Id private?

If we want to make the login ID private and to be replaced by the “name” field we provided in the “rofile” page, we need to modify the code of every pages/screens of the portal & forums. We also need to have a fundamental change of the whole program since the login ID is not just for login purpose but it is acting as the main key of the forum operation. Otherwise you cannot send PM to other members, search the posts of a members & etc.

It is no doubt that finding a piece of information in a database is simple provided that the database is well established and provided with detail search options. However, I am sorry to tell that although the phpBB2plus program is very powerful and have many different users functions provided, it doesn’t have any proper search options in the admin function. The information provided in the members list of the admin function is even less than the members list can be viewed in the portal (members list) which is unable for the admin group to check the real name of a user within the portal. Substantial amount of effort is required to customize the program if we want it to fit our operation or show any additional information even it is a very minor change.

In addition, as I mentioned in my previous post in this forum, the HKBWS membership information and the portal user information are being stored separately (not in the same database). Therefore, some of the checking and verification process of membership are in fact carried out manually at this moment.

Rome was not built in one day. I think no one would expect that a freeware can provide all the things we need and readily for use. It is also impossible for a database to be established by itself. I hope members can think about how much additional effort will be required for the freedom/options/personal preference they requested. I think all of you understand that the portal is constructed by our volunteers (IT Group members) at their spare time after works. If I can get more volunteers helping us to modify the program & establish a comprehensive database, I have no reason not to change the login ID format. However, I am very disappointed to reiterate that up to this moment, I got no response to my previous messages repeatedly asking for volunteers to help.

Besides regularly maintaining the  website & fixing the bugs found in the new portal/forums, at this moment, the IT Group members are all fully engaged by the various tasks of the society include preparation of launching the Color-ringed BFS Records Submission System, Voting system for Color-on-the-wings photo contest, design format of HKBWS notification email, etc. In addition, we also need to study the recent comments on the forums arrangement of “Birds of HK”.

However I want to tell members that besides all the above tasks mentioned, actually there is a most urgent thing we need to handle first, i.e. how to let visitors changing the default language of the portal/forum before logging in. Since the default language of the portal/forum is in English and you can’t change it into other languages, such as traditional Chinese, before logging in. It has made most of our Bulbul Club members and many non-English speaking members didn’t know how to register in the portal and even unable to visit the forums for viewing the posted messages.

I hope our members will understand that we need to concentrate our limited effort in handling the above-mentioned various tasks first before those preference issues.

I also hope that our members can continue to support the Society by providing your comment on the forums arrangement of “Birds of HK” as well as being a volunteer to share our workload in improving the website.

Best Regards,

Forrest FONG