Updated 8:41pm Atlantic Standard Time - Mar. 8th, 2021
- Updated the User Guide to include details on the site's built-in Bookmarks feature that I didn't even know existed until @jminer pointed it out this evening!
Hello my fellow ex-Kinja Opponauts and new Opponauts, alike!
We've had a lot of questions on how this iteration of @Jminer's Oppo replacement site works, so in the following probably-way-too-long tome, you will find my attempt at a basic guide to give new and current users an overview of the lay of the land. As well, I'll try and make mention of features and functions some of you may not have noticed, or have asked about in comparison to our both loved-and-loved Kinja. I'll likely edit this as time goes on to clarify more things or add things I have forgotten.
BUT, while you're here and reading this, mosey on over to the OppoMap and add yourself to our wonderful global community so we all know where we are!
This overview is based on the desktop version of the site. There are currently two themes available at the time of this writing, a light and dark theme (choose your preference in the settings). In my case, I use the dark theme, so things may look a little different in this guide compared to what you see if using the light theme. Keep in mind that this site is currently still in a state of flux, being only a few days old at the time of this writing. Features and functions WILL break, options and settings may not exist as you know them on Kinja, or not at all. Any bugs or issues can be reported in the current 'MASTER FEEDBACK' thread.
To begin...'The Hyphen'...what the heck is that? As discussions and work has gone on on this site, @Tripper unknowingly coined that nickname over on the Oppo Discord and a lot of users were amused by it to the point it has, so far, stuck:
You can blame him. Thanks @Tripper ...
General Site Info:
As you may have noticed, this iteration of Oppo 2.1 is more of a hybrid forum-style format. @Jminer and @NickHasAnExocet are working together on ways to add more Kinja-style functionality, and have done a pretty good job so far, but as tweaking continues, keep in mind things may never be exactly the same as 'Ye Olde Kinja' was in terms of how things work.
At present, there are two ways to view posts here on The Hyphen...the original and more forum-oriented way is whereby us users see posts in chronological order in terms of ACTIVITY, not just the age of the topic/post, itself. This means that new topics/posts will appear at the top of this list, but OLDER threads that are replied to will also get BUMPED to the top of this list. To use this manner of viewing The Hyphen, you can click the 'Recent' button at the top-left of the page:
The second way, and the method which most of us will be most familiar with, is the similar chronological manner to which Kinja functioned, i.e. a STRICT chronological listing of all topics by time created REGARDLESS of replies. To get to this function for the time being, @jminer has set it to the 'default' of sorts...kindof. By clicking the 'Oppo' at the top-left of the page, you are taken to a list of topics. To achieve this similar-to-kinja format, click on 'Sort by' on the right, and set this to 'Topics: Newest to Oldest' if it is not already. This will save per account, so once set, you will not have to change it every time you login or the like.
Both methods shouldn't be ALL that different from what you are used to from Oppo Kinja...you will see the author of a thread/post, the number of replies (listed as 'Posts'), the number of views, and the approximate date or time it was made. Simples! There are also additional functions, like showing the last reply to that post at right (of which you can click on the time there to take you straight to that last reply). 'Pinned' posts feature a 'pushpin/thumbtack' icon and are generally used for important notices or the like. Pinned items stay at the top of the feed for all users' benefit all the time.
The post/thread feed is also LIVE now, meaning if anything gets posted while you are viewing, a notification will appear at the top telling you to refresh the page to see that new content. When viewing the posts/comments of a thread, this view is ALSO live as well.
* Categories and Tags:
The current plan is to remove the 'categories' (Two Wheels Good, Comments and Announcements, Critters, etc...) that posts can be set to and have one general category for everything. This MAY change in the future, but the reasoning for this is so that things all show up in one 'feed'.
Posts will still, a la Kinja, be able to be sorted using 'tags' at the bottom of the post editor when making a new thread/post. Along the top of the page is also a handy button that can be used to view all current tags on the site!
Here, you can easily click on any known tag to view ALL posts with that tag! Handy for finding past DOTS posts, etc!
You will find these at the upper-right corner, like with Kinja. They work similarly as they did on Kinja, i.e. you receive a notification wherever somebody (@) mentions you, replies to a post you made, or replies to a thread you created. Threads can be 'watched' here, as well, so that you will receive a notification for ANY posts in that thread, regardless of if they were directed to you or not. These settings can be adjusted in your user profile by clicking on your profile picture at the top right and clicking 'Settings' - you can have this be the default behavior for any thread if you'd like! However, if you want to 'watch' ONE specific thread and be notified of activity within it, simply open that thread, then click the bell icon at the top-right near the 'Reply' button to turn on or off this function
When posting on The Hyphen, you can post a reply by clicking on the 'Reply' button at the top-right of a thread.
Clicking 'Reply' or 'Quote' below any particular person's post is a great way to get their attention as it will automatically @ mention them in your reply, meaning they get a notification.
For those of us new to the older-school semi-forum format of The Hyphen, 'Reply' does as you would expect and, well....posts a new reply, as it did on Kinja. 'Quote' posts a reply, but quotes that user's post or comment from where you clicked the button.
We HIGHLY RECOMMEND you get into the habit of using the 'Quote' and 'Reply' buttons if you are replying to a particular person in a thread to have a conversation with them as this makes it easier to follow what exactly a person was replying to!
In the Advanced post editor, things aren't all that different from Kinja - you have the same slew of buttons along the top of the editor as you did before, for the most part...bold, italics, crossed-out text, and hyperlink creation, We'll get more to some of those other buttons in a minute, but the big difference you will notice is one to the editor, itself. Here on The Hyphen, the left side of the editor is where you do your creating. It is where you do things like type, create your hyperlinks, etc. It ALSO shows FORMATTING. By this, I mean, if adding a picture to your post, you will see the FORMATTING for that picture, but NOT THE PICTURE ITSELF. That is where The Hyphen's 'Preview' Pane' comes in! On the right of the editor, you'll see a preview pane that shows you exactly how your content will appear once posted.
By default, the advanced post editor is at half-height, but you can enlarge it to full height by clicking the double-ended vertical arrow at the top:
You can also use 'Zen Mode', which is a fancy name for 'make the editor full screen in your browser and block out everything else'...that would be this button:
There are a slew of emoticons/emoji as well now too under this button:
Unlike Kinja, we now have the new feature of text coloration! If you would like colored text in your post for whatever reason, highlight the text you wish to colorificate and then click this handy button!
Along the top of the editor, you will see other buttons. For example, there are THREE for adding photos now!
- This one is for adding LINKED images hosted elsewhere. A CAVEAT...when linking images on Oppo-kinja, the image would actually be UPLOADED to Kinja so that if the source went down, the image would still exist in that post. That does NOT happen here, sadly! Linked images are taken FROM the source, so if the source goes down (such as a Craigslist post), the image link will break in your post....keep that in mind!
- This one is for UPLOADING images to your post from your computer or device. Currently, images being posted are compressed and resized to save on server space for the time being as the site is still being run on @Jminer's server during this testing and fleshing-out phase. GIF images (including animated GIFs) have now recently been made uploadable, where they were previously link-to only.
- The third image-related button is a new one, and likely a bit confusing. You see, on Kinja, if images were added to a post, a thumbnail on the feed would be automatically created for that post either from the only image in that post or the first image in a series within that post. Here on the Hyphen, thumbnails are NOT automatic. If you wish your post to have a thumbnail, this button is used to add whatever thumbnail you like to your post!
NodeBB (on which this site is based) uses Markdown for formatting in posts. @Smallbear helped me figure this out when he figured out some additional formatting options that can be used in the advanced editor, including HEADINGS! (which I know some of you were asking for). A nice rundown of basic Markdown formatting is found here: https://commonmark.org/help/.
Aside from Markdown, @jminer has also added a few other plugins to the site adding various other features to our post content (text coloring, as an example)...explanations for which are either above or below.
To begin, to get a separator in your post using Markdown formatting, simply type three underscores in a row on a new line. You will see examples of the separator throughout this post (the light-gray horizontal line), for reference, where I am using them as section breaks.
For headings, as @smallbear put it:
"...use a hyphen in the line below the heading. "-", but again in it's own line.
An equals sign placed in exactly the same way will do the same, but bigger. "=""
i.e., what he states above would give you:
As an example of what that formatting looks like in the editor:
Images can be copy-pasted or drag-and-dropped into the editor as they could on Kinja, and embeds for things like Youtube videos work here as they did on Kinja as well. There ARE some sites where embeds to not work, however, so you'll just have to provide the old-school hyperlink for those (Streamable videos are one example). We are slowly improving the embed functionality, so most things seem to work at this point!
There, at present, are NO drafts on The Hyphen for posts, nor is there Post Scheduling. Hopefully this is a feature that can be added down the line, but it is not present in the site design by default and would likely have to be added by a plugin...we'll see what we can do! A plus to this, though, is this....on Kinja, if you started a new post, then, say, went for lunch and came back to finish it, you would have to remember to change the post date/time to the present or it would show up further back the feed. Here on The Hyphen, if you open the editor for a new post and then come back later and post it, it will automatically still be posted as brand new.
Despite there being no drafts, you may see a 'Disk' icon at the top right near the Discard/Submit buttons. Hyphen DOES save your posts to memory as you work periodically to prevent you from losing work. This means that, if you are in the middle of a post and your cat sits on your keyboard, closing that browser window or tab....all is not lost! Simply open a new Hyphen tab/window, click 'New Topic' to get back into the editor, and YOUR POST SHOULD BE THERE!
Polls can also be created within posts now using: Fill in the options you would like in the poll that people can vote for, a Poll Title, whether users can change their vote later ('update vote'), the maximum number of times a user can vote, and finally set a time (if desired) after which the poll will end.
The editor also supports Code boxes now: These are originally designed for pasting code or command-line snippets on a lot of forums, but as we have minimal use for posting programming code or Terminal/Command-line commands here on The Hyphen, they are a great way for us to highlight text, for example:
Jim Spanfeller is an herb.
To edit an EXISTING post or comment, you can click the vertical dots at the bottom-right near the 'Reply' and 'Quote' buttons of that post/comment to access the 'Edit' function:
Here on the Hyphen, there is no 'Star' button to 'Star' a comment or post as there was on Kinja. Instead, the equivalent here is to 'Upvote' something - this works with the same intention as it did on Kinja, i.e. a positive affirmation of enjoying a post. To Upvote something, locate this button on the bottom-right of a post near the 'Reply' and 'Quote' buttons:
Clicking that upward arrow will 'Upvote' that post. The number tells you how many times that post has been upvoted, again, similar to the number next to the 'Star' on Kinja. You can also click ON that number to see WHO has done the upvoting...something you COULDN'T do on Kinja! (Thanks @ItalianJobR53 for pointing that out!)
Handy new features:
* Latest Post Preview Snippet Column
As of the Oppo v2.1 update on Jan. 9th, 2021, there is now a preview column on the far-right side of the page that offers snippets of preview text / the username of the last post in that thread:
* Nested Replies
As of the v2.1 upgrade in January 2021, Hyphen now features a hidden 'nested conversation' function for users that like that feature for keeping track of conversations in threads between individuals. To use this, look at any post in a thread and you may see a line listing how many replies that post has directly:
Clicking this line will show you a limited nested conversation view showing any replies specifically to that post.
For those of us not used to more old-school forums, a signature is a line of text that is always appended to the bottom of each post you make (think the way we often edited our usernames on Kinja to add a little line about us or for fun). Here on The Hyphen, signatures are shown below each post in a small font size to make them easily differentiated from normal post content. Signatures can be about whatever you want, as long as they follow the Oppo rules...a favorite quote, a funny saying, a list of your owned vehicles...the world is your oyster!
Signatures can be set by clicking on your Avatar at the top-right, then selecting 'Edit Profile'. There is a 75-character limit set for signatures - this is to ensure that signatures aren't long enough to intrude upon the reading experience when browsing posts and threads. For different things in your signature, try separating them with a ' | ' (Shift+Backslash) - for example:
2012 Honda Civic | 2009 Piaggio Vespa LX150
- UPDATED in Oppo v2.1 (Jan. 9th, 2021) for vastly improved mobile support!
The Hyphen features a private message/chat system. To access this, you can click on the 'chat bubble' icon at the top-right to view your current chats. To start a new chat with another user, click their username (or avatar) at left in any thread to view their profile, then click 'Chat'. ~'80s style infomercial voice~ BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
You can also start a chat with any other user, then click the 'gear' at the top-right in that chat and select 'Manage Chat Room' to add more users! The room can also be renamed as well, so this would be handy for creating chats for, say, local groups for meet-ups or the like!
Chat windows can also be dragged around the screen on the page/tab you open them on. To leave a chat, click on the gear at the top-right and select 'Leave Chat'.
* Thread Progress
At the bottom-right of your browser, in any thread, you will see a handy progress bar that changes as you scroll!
This tells you how far through the thread you are and also shows you the total post count and which post of that count you are currently viewing....neat! There are double arrows to the right and left of this progress bar as well. These arrows on the right take you to the LAST post in a thread. The arrows on the left take you to the FIRST post in a thread.
Clicking on the numbers in the middle opens a mini-window allowing you to scroll through and jump to individual posts quickly with the little scroll bar on the right, or to type in a post number ('Enter Index') to go directly to any reply in that thread (i.e. the 3rd post, 26th post, etc):
* In-topic Searching
Some Opponauts have mentioned that it was not easy to search within topics for a particular post, phrase, etc. @jminer found a setting that any user can enable that turns the search function on the top of the page into an in-topic search when browsing a thread.
To enable this, click your Avatar at the top-right, then click on 'Settings.' Turn on the option labelled 'Enable In-topic Searching'. Once activated, pressing Ctrl-F as you would for your usual browser search will, instead, now open an in-topic search at the top-right of the page specific to the Hyphen thread that you are browsing!
* Selective Post Quoting
@davesaddiction discovered a handy NodeBB feature for quoting other people's posts!
Clicking the 'Quote' button automatically quotes a person's entire reply, BUT, if you use your mouse cursor (or finger on mobile) to click-and-drag and select SPECIFIC text from a user's reply, ONLY that text will be quoted! Great for getting attention on the specific part of a person's post that you are discussing!
* Built-in Site-wide System for Bookmarking/Favoriting Posts
Hyphen-Oppo has a built-in, little-known feature for saving your favorite posts as in-site bookmarks!
If you have a favorite post, or one you can see yourself referring to, you can bookmark that post to your User Profile's Bookmark list. To do so, find the post you wish to bookmark, then click the 3-vertical-dots button at the bottom-right of said post to the right of the Reply/Quote/Upvote buttons:
You'll be greeted with a list of options, including the Bookmark function!
Once selected, the post will be added to your User Profile's Bookmarks. These can be easily accessed by clicking on your Profile icon at the top-right of the site:
...then clicking on your username at the top of that menu:
...and then clicking on the 3-vertical-dots button at the top-right, and selecting Bookmarks!
Enjoy your newfound intra-Hyphen bookmarks!