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Implemented Schedule threads and replies on post publish

Andro

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Till XFtoWP 1.3, we had an option to schedule threads on post publish. But since XFtoWP 1.4 introduces auto thread creation on post publish along with an option to disable auto-publish on a per-post basis, the previously added "schedule thread" option has been removed.

This can cause a few issues:
- There will be instances where an author will forget to check the "Do not auto-publish" checkbox. A thread will be auto-posted then.
- Creating a thread before publishing a WP post may create a half-baked thread. For eg., wrong permalink, content, etc.

But with the "schedule thread" option we can schedule threads and that will always create a thread after the WP post is published.
 
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Alex

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Thanks for the suggestion and your patience with my reply - I have been recovering from illness from over the holidays!

I pretty aggressively channeled the spirit of Steve Jobs by removing the schedule button in XFtoWP 1.4, but after some more thought I think it can still be helpful to have when auto-post is disabled and the post is unpublished. I will test a little more and see if it makes sense to include back in this context.

- There will be instances where an author will forget to check the "Do not auto-publish" checkbox. A thread will be auto-posted then.
This can be an unfortunate consequence but I think it mostly comes down to training. I recommend enabling auto-post only if the majority of your articles will be cross-posted to your forum.

- Creating a thread before publishing a WP post may create a half-baked thread. For eg., wrong permalink, content, etc.
It is possible to create a thread before publish with the "Create thread" select option but that isn't tied to thread auto-posting.
 
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Andro

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- Creating a thread before publishing a WP post may create a half-baked thread. For eg., wrong permalink, content, etc.
We are already facing this issue because our authors are used to with the 'scheduling' thread publish during the article publishing. So they end up hitting the 'create thread' button before an wp post is published. That creates the thread with different permalink as well as canonical URL.
 
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freqfly

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Can I request that you reinstate the option to create the XF thread at the time the WP post is published.
We don't use the "Auto post thread on post publish" option because:
a) the created thread can be in any forum, not just the default forum
b) most of our WP posts don't require a created XF thread

Our writers work on different time zones so often schedule WP posts to be published at different times. It's important that the XF thread is only visible after the WP post is published.

Thanks
 
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Alex

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Thank you for the feedback here @freqfly, it helps to hear different perspectives on this feature. When I first released the Schedule button it was met with fairly negative reviews in favor of the current auto-post, which contributed to me removing the feature in 1.4.

I have been convinced to bring it back since @Andro brought up this thread and I will try to get another release out by the end of the week with it reinstated the proper way. Keep an eye out!
 
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Alex

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Working smoothly again in 1.4.2, release almost ready. :)
 
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Alex

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You can now check out XFtoWP 1.4.2 RC1 to test the new thread connect/create process! The controls are now far more intuitive and more connected to the "Publish" button without the need for a Schedule button.

See the release details:


See a detailed guide of all new Thread comments features:


Please post your feedback to this new flow, it is designed to be seamless and save lots of time.
 
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Andro

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A Schedule button is more preferred as it is self explainable and simplifies the process.

This new process can be confusing to the authors. I mean even when I expain this new process, they still do not understand it and might end up hitting the Create thread button thinking it will schedule whereas that will publish the thread instantly.

I don't mean to offend and only providing my honest feedback here, but this new flow is very disappointing.
 
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Alex

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No offense taken, I am looking for honest feedback as this is a critical feature of the plugin.

If you look at the Post to forum meta box without thinking about the old Schedule button, this process makes the most sense in its simplicity and flexibility. I think because this is the third change to the feature in the past 2 months that it seems confusing but it really can't get any simpler than how it is now—plus you can use all thread actions on publish.

Here's an example workflow if you are mostly creating new threads when you publish:

1) You set a default title & message in XFtoWP settings
2) After you write a post you go to Post to forum > Create thread. That's it, unless you want to make a tweak to the title/message/tools box.
3) Now that you selected create a thread, once you save, schedule, or publish your thread will be created on publish.

This new flow still works with the schedule concept, but now it is intuitive rather than having to click a button.

I realize the frustration of seeing this feature changed so much over the months and this is not something I expect to put anyone through as it is bad software design practice, but I am confident after some more testing this flow makes the most sense.

@Andro It may be worth adding a small description text or change the "create thread" text to "create now" to help.

@El Porcharo @freqfly any feedback you can also share?
 
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Andro

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Thanks for the detailed explanation.

@Andro It may be worth adding a small description text or change the "create thread" text to "create now" to help.
Good idea. If you can add a note about the schedule thread functionality on the Post to forum meta box that will only be displayed when a post is not published/in draft, it would be great. It will self guide the authors about the whole process.
 
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Alex

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Thanks for the detailed explanation.


Good idea. If you can add a note about the schedule thread functionality on the Post to forum meta box that will only be displayed when a post is not published/in draft, it would be great. It will self guide the authors about the whole process.
Sounds sensible to me. Otherwise I think the added flexibility of being able to connect threads & make post replies on publish is a huge development.
 
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El Porcharo

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@El Porcharo @freqfly any feedback you can also share?
Well... I'm still working on the layout of the replies' tab, I'm quite overwhelmed by the CSS actually 😅

I have a new post in progress that should be ready soon, but I had a look at all the options, including the new tool in WP Post editing, and I can say it's awesome!

Not only you can edit the preset XFPost content (which was something I was about to ask for!!) but you can also add TAGs and a couple of more option, which is great!

I just miss the prefix selection, then it should be okl!

Anyway, I still didn't understand how this schedulation works: I have tested the "new post" in WP and as soon as I click to "Create thread", a new thread called "Automated Draft" is published in XF, even if the post is still empty. How should we proceed, after making sure the auto-posting is enabled?

Should we just set the "Create thread" from the dropdown and then schedule the WP post? Is this enough to save the "Post to forum" settings?
 
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Alex

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Anyway, I still didn't understand how this schedulation works: I have tested the "new post" in WP and as soon as I click to "Create thread", a new thread called "Automated Draft" is published in XF, even if the post is still empty. How should we proceed, after making sure the auto-posting is enabled?

Should we just set the "Create thread" from the dropdown and then schedule the WP post? Is this enough to save the "Post to forum" settings?
The buttons you see for "Create thread", "Connect thread", and "Post reply" are all meant to immediately run the action. If you want to wait until the post is published, just leave the thread settings as you want them and save/publish the post. Once the post goes live it will run the action you have set.

I will definitely add some kind of small helper text here to make this clear, as it seems the interface is just a little too simplified. :)
 
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El Porcharo

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Great then!

If that's how it works, I think there's no need to go back to the old way: it's much easier to just schedule the WP post and let it do the rest ;)

This doesn't mean that "Auto publish" should be enabled, isn't it?

Ah! Just one little hint!
(If modifying the behavior of the "Message" field in the WP post edit page it's easy enough)

It might be useful to populate the field with the preset content, instead of making it a placeholder.
In my case, for example, I just need to add the "intro" from the WP post between the "featured image" and the "read more" link, as I can't just automatically insert the excerpt text (because I've put some HTML code in it). The rest of the code is the one I set in the Thread comments options.


By the way, I also added some CSS to remove the pinned post by default, even if there are no replies. I think it might be confusing for less addicted users to see the featured image and the post content again at the end of the post itself... Maybe you might want to add an option to hide the OP or not by default (or I can share the CSS code, in case) ;)
 
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