questions about new forum

questions about new forum

I was surprised with a message about a new forum for Fort ran compilers when I tried to respond to a post in the original forum. I hope the new one is truly better.

At one time someone stated that all the messages from the original forum would be copied over to the new one. Is that still true? I can't see any messages in the new one.

The announcement message about the new forum stated that the original one would shut down on December 7. Are we unable to continue posting to the discussion threads from the original forum?

I noticed that you now have to specify a version to post a message in the new forum. Should we agree on the format to use up front so that readers can find what they want? Does someone from Compaq want to take the lead and set those up?

Is there anything in general we should know about the new forum?

Mike Durisin

34 posts / 0 new
Last post
For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.

I thought I'd reply just to see how a "thread" will look in this software.

As to the version and other info asked for when sending a message, this doesn't seem to be visible to an ordinary "forum" user. Should it be?

David Jones

This was a surprise to me - I got no internal notification that this was going live. Unfortunately, the people who are supposed to be in charge of the forum software are out of the office until Monday!

I hope to have things straightened out early next week. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Steve Lionel - Compaq Fortran

Retired 12/31/2016

Well the new forum software has finally arrived--it's a shame that nobody mentioned it to Steve. I like it much better already. The little + can be hit at the main forum level and you get ToolTips describing the entire post when you fly the cursor over the link (apparently you only need to pull up the link if you want to make a reply). And *WOW* it's fast compared to the old system! Woohoo!!!

In my test reply, I didn't notice anything about it asking for a version number...

I wonder how the search features (if any) will function. One of the biggest problems from the old forum software was referencing folks back to an applicable post that wasn't too recent. I'm also curious about how things will be handled once there's a large number of posts (newest thread bubble up to the top?).

Great advancement. Happy holiday to all (especially Steve for sticking by this forum effort).

vr/Bill Jones (Bonesly)

Is there a quicker way to login?
You have to enter your name and password in full, select Compilers, then select Fortran. In the old forum it remembered your user name & password and went straight to the Visual Fortran foram with the messages headers on display.

When viewing the messages tool tips are used, but the message only stays visible for one or two seconds - could this not be made longer. It is very slow to load the full message you double click on the header.

I liked in the old forum how the replies form the compaq staff were highlighted.

It is amazing that Compaq can release new software then take 2 days holiday - why couldn't they wait 'till after Thanksgiving and release it properly.

Where are the old messages?


The tool tips are a browser feature, and not controllable by the forum software.

I will get the answers to all these questions next week - I too am rather taken aback that they'd spring this on us just before a holiday! (And, not only that, but the folks who manage the system went on vacation! ARRRRGH!

The version info is asked only on new posts.

Lastly, some people are seeing JavaScript errors - Netscape 4, primarily. I've passed on reports about that.

The software has some features they don't seem to have enabled yet, including the ability to "subscribe" and see new posts since the last visit. I also hope there's an easier/faster login method - the mangled URL approach it uses frustrates MSIE's password memory feature.

It's progress, I think!


Retired 12/31/2016

Ok - I just got off the phone with the guy who manages this. Lots of good news, some not-so-good news.

First - to get to this forum quickly, use this link. Save it as a Favorite/bookmark/whatever. I will soon introduce that will redirect here. When you use this URL, you can browse the board but won't be asked to log in until you try to post.

Another good item is that the way it is set up, new messages appear immediately and don't have to wait for a moderator to approve. We can delete or edit (or move!) messages after the fact.

Not so good - though the software has the capability of "subscribing", where it will remember what you have seen and show you only new posts, the "human factors" people insisted it be turned off, as they thought it was "too confusing"! Perhaps for the Presario buyers, but not for you folks. I will lobby hard to get this turned on. For now, if there's a thread you want to watch, turn on the "E-mail me any replies" box.

A way around this is more likely to happen soon - making this forum available as a newsgroup by NNTP. Then your newsreader can handle seen/watch/ignore, etc. Keep your fingers crossed.

Bad news - though they tried to move the messages from the old forum, this proved too difficult. The old forum will be taken offline in a week or so, though I'll be able to get at it internally. Sorry. If there is a particular thread you are interested in saving, let me know and I can do a manual import.

Another tip - the format of the URLs used starts out with, where nn is some number that depends on what you're doing, then a "token" between two @ characters, then a period and a hexadecimal ID. To save or pass on a reference to any item in the forum, make the "nn" be 14 and remove the token between the @ characters (but preserve the @s). So for example, this thread would be (If there are three @s, remove what's between the first and last).

The "token" is your login authorization, but is good for 30 minutes since last activity, so it's not a big deal if you accidentally include it in a link.

I'm still coming up to speed on this, so please bear with us.


Retired 12/31/2016

!!!!!! Topics are sorted alphabetically? Whose nutty idea was this?!?! My complaint has been submitted...


Retired 12/31/2016

I review the message board daily, and felt cheated when the old message board simply stopped working. I had no idea why until Steve posted the new URN in a comp.lang.fortran post. I like the response speed of the pop-ups, but would like to see them stay visible until the mouse is moved. Seeing the full thread is a little slow, but infinitely better than the port 81 response on the old message board.

Hang in there with pushing for improvements Steve, we all appreciate it.

Graham Kip

The "popup" text is simply a "Title=" tag in the HTML for the list view, and the display is completely under the control of your browser. I don't know how to lengthen it.


Retired 12/31/2016

Oh, look. The new forum is here! The new forum is here! - my Steve Martin impersonation :-)

It's kind of funny, the way that Compaq Corp. springs this as a surprise to the users and to its own employees who are out there representing the company in public. It's kind of fun to see that I'm not the only one watching my own large international corporation make humorous blunders.

Like Graham Kip, the only reason I found out about this was a post of Steve Lionel's in c.l.f. While I had checked the "old" forum a number of times since 11/20 (the last post there) I had not tried to post a reply and so did not "get the message" :) like Mike did. If Compaq had gone the way of a coordinated rollout, I'm sure Steve would have posted an informational message at the "old" forum for those who were just reading/browsing/lurking. Maybe it can be still be done. Or maybe not, since it gets taken down in a week. And a message at would have been nice to coordinate too.

Well, now that it's here, I can't help but give a few first impressions of our new forum.

The Good:
Looks nice enough, if a bit bland and with less features than other forums. Although at this stage almost anything is an improvement.
No more port 81 issues with my corporate firewall. (yahoo!)
New messages will appear more immediately, with post-facto moderation.
I think that the "email responses" feature could be useful, if only to work around some of the shortcomings below.
I like the "format for printing" links.

The Bad (or Not so Good):
Not quite sure what the version information requested when posting is for. It's not visible when reading the posts. Why is it required?
So, there are features they haven't implemented yet - like the "subscribe" feature and NNTP. At this stage maybe I'll just beg, please, please, give me NNTP. At least then, I can just rely on the user interface in Agent.
I'd prefer to see more visible information with the posts and replies on the main page. Particularly, date and time posted, name of the poster. Also, it'd be nice to follow a link to a user's public profile, maybe to send a direct email or to see if they have a web page. etc...

The Ugly:
There doesn't seem to be any user configurable options, particularly, how to view the messages. One can only hope that if the "subscribe" feature is re-instated that this might be configurable.
Compaq Corp. decides not to implement "advanced" features like "subscribe" (and show only new posts)
Top level threads appear alphabetically? And this is not user configurable? Oh my.
The messages don't seem to be threaded anymore than just a reply to the original, "new" thread. Can't seem to reply to a reply. It's kind of strange. I guess it's a threaded discussion forum, but only one level deep. Oh my.
The messages from the old forum are gone with the wind. Who didn't see that one coming? This is one of the main reasons I started putting nontrivial samples on my website and posting links to them in the old forum, once I found out that the old forum deleted messages that hadn't been replied to in some time period. I wanted to maintain control of where my samples went. When talk of the impending new forum software started I started archiving forum posts that raised at least some interest (at least for me). I'll wait and see what hap
pens here and think about what could be done to make that archive available.

All in all, I guess it's an improvement. Maybe, with Steve's persistent help, new features will be added and this will continue to improve. Thanks in advance to Steve. But given the fact that Compaq Corp took, what, about 18 months to roll this out, I won't hold my breath waiting for further improvements. :) Makes one wonder if "comp.lang.fortran.cvf.moderated" would be easier, less hassle and have more features.


If I had had advance notice, I certainly would have posted something in the old forum. If you try to reply in the old forum, you get a message telling you about the new one....

Moderators get to see the version info.

I get to select whether the organization here is "threaded" or "conversation". The default is "conversation" (no sub-branches), and I'm going to wait and see if it makes sense to change it. I can see benefits either way.

The software has lots of user customization features that some "human interface" so-called experts insisted be turned off, so as to not frighten the poor Presario users, I guess. Sigh. I'm applying what pressure I can.

NNTP access will probably come soon - or so I am told. This would make things nicer all around.


Retired 12/31/2016

Hi Steve,

I have no doubts that had you been given the slightest notice, you would have jumped all over the opportunity. I was just chuckling that your corporate folks didn't give you any chance. It's particularly funny to me because I'm currently going through almost the exact same thing with my company's web site and our corporate folks in Zurich.
It's like that old curse about living "interesting lives"! :-)


I would give $1.0E10 if this message board were hosted by an NNTP server rather than web-based discussion software. I think there is a reason why NNTP servers have been used for centuries for hosting discussion groups...

NNTP is probably coming soon. I think. Or so I have been told. Perhaps... :-)


Retired 12/31/2016

Please educate me and explain what an NNTP server is.

Is there a way to highlight the posts I've already read?

Mike Durisin

A NNTP server is a newsgroup server - the idea is that you will be able to use your favorite newsgroup reader (Netscape, Outlook Express, Agent, etc.) to read and post messages to the message board. You would have to tell your reader the name of the special Compaq server that "hosts" the message board, it would not be replicated across all servers.

There is no current way to note posts you've read - the software has the capability, but it's been disabled. Using a newsreader would solve that.


Retired 12/31/2016

I have been bugged with the "404 not found" for a while. The switched to the Compaq Fortran home page, tried all the links to the message board. Still "404 not found". Different from what has been mentioned before I didn't read (and still can't find) a message on comp.lang.fortran about a new forum.
I had to search my way through the forum link on the Compaq Fortran home page to find that there was something new.
And now I understand that there will be a lot of discussions all over again because searching the old ones is impossible.

Perhaps a short course "Human Communication" is an idea for these "Human Interface" experts?

PLEASE make the old forum materials available on CD-ROM!!! (But in a form which can be searched and sorted completely.)

A searchable CD is a great idea.


Here are my forum observations....

How do I search? Is CTRL-F the only way?

Why do the replies to the original post (dated 12/3/00) have an earlier date (11/28/00)? Did Mike edit his post?

Please oh please may I have NNTP implemented!?!

I wonder, does HTML work?. Err.... How do I enter HTML? I guess I'll send my comments to

I wrote:
Here are my forum observations....
How do I search? Is CTRL-F the only way?

Okay, I see "Message Search". Never mind.

Why do the replies to the original post (dated 12/3/00) have an earlier date (11/28/00)? Did Mike edit his post?

Speaking of editing posts, it'd be nice if we could.

Please oh please may I have NNTP implemented!?!

Maybe once we have a President here in the United States, we can turn our attention to this.

I wonder, does HTML work?. [snip]

Here's a "real" test:

IF I < 3.14 THEN...

Sorry about the stupid questions.

I haven't edited any of my posts to this thread.

Mike Durisin

I just noticed - the software is attaching the date of the most recent reply to the "base entry". Bad....

There is a "Message Search" button at the top of every page.


Retired 12/31/2016

Hmm - I just noticed that the forum is now sorted so that topics with recent replies show up first. That's good, but it looks as if the way it was done was to adjust the date of the base entry. Progress, I guess. I'll see what else is going on here.


Retired 12/31/2016

I have been trying to post a reply to the "dialog control invisible" thread.
I have got a copy of an old discussion, but I just don't get through. Only two line sentences seem to be accepted. I noticed that other users had the same problem before.

Walter Kramer

I don't understand what you mean by "two line sentences". I haven't encountered a size limit. Have you tried attaching the saved discussion as a text file?


Retired 12/31/2016

"Two line sentences is an exaggeration" I am sorry.
I have tried to post the complete discussion several times using copy/paste. This seems to give problems. I now stripped the discussion and posted only part as a reply to the thread.

Walter Kramer

Steve, I thought you knew about the problem of posting long messages.
John & I both had problems replying to "Tool bars in Fort ran WinApps".

The reply eventually did appear.


Is my browser (IE4.72.3612.1713) broken, or is there really no way to tell which messages/replies I have seen before? Like, with a color change, maybe?

My feeble memory is already getting a workout with fewer than 50 topics; I shudder to think what it'll be like in another month. (Of course, I guess too much and searchable is a lot better than the terrible system there was before.)

More martyr points for Steve!
God bless!

Compaq has decided to disable the feature that would let you know which messages were new. I continue to fight this. They did, at least, change it so that new messages (and threads with new replies), bubble to the top of the list, so it's easier to see what has changed since you were last in.

There is no length limit on posts. What there is is a "filter" that holds messages with certain content to be reviewed by moderators. Other than the content you might expect it to look for (naughty words), it also traps strings of digits that it thinks might be phone numbers. This is what stopped John's postings. I believe I have found a way to disable the phone number filter for this forum - we shall see...


Retired 12/31/2016

1) PLEASE get "Them" to turn on the I've-already-seen-that switch. How can "They" rationalize leaving that turned off?
2) PLEASE tree the responses so that there is some semblance of order to this forum.
3) PLEASE let Replies be directed to a particular message rather than all of them going to the "original".

This thing is really frustrating!

anyway ... Happy Christmas, Steve and all...
God bless!

Well, I turned on threading. Let's see if it does anything...

Hmm, doesn't appear to have. But something else is happening... I hope I can figure out what, because it looks like something good.


Retired 12/31/2016

Threading may be turned on, but I have no idea what you saw that "looks like something good" -- exactly the same as before, except now it takes a lot longer to load (which might, of course, be associated with everyone here trying to access their favorite lunchtime sites).
Thanks for your as-usual speedy attention, Steve.
God bless!

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