A bit of an update on where we're up to...
We've made a few changes in the past few weeks to both the design and the backend. Among the changes which I don't think we've mentioned on here is the adding of the first and last page buttons to the mobile theme - it was a bit of a nightmare trying to navigate the very busy threads without this.
On the online visibility point, we've now intentionally set things so that only moderators can see whether you're online and when you last visited the forum. It's true that the old version of the forum had the option to see when you'd last been active, but from various comments from our readers on and off the forums I get the impression that people are a lot more concerned with privacy now than they were when we set up the last version of the forums. The privacy settings could be something that we revisit in the future, but it's not a high priority.
The two priorities we have at present are both very big jobs:
- Fixing the glitches with search. Until we can work out what's causing these glitches, we can't start trying to fix them!
- Seeing whether we can bring back the stars (to show that you have posted in a thread). When we removed these, I mentioned that it would be a temporary measure. Our developers are still working on a solution to this that would make the thread markers work in a more similar way to the way they were set up on the old forums, but it could be the case that there's no way of bringing them back without users with tens of thousands of posts having to wait up to a minute (or more) to load every forum index page.