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It really bugs me when I do a search on the forum and the results are just a mish-mash of useless links.

For example:
I wanted to read all posts that had the word "Gers" in it. I entered "gers" into the search field (no quotation marks) and I got a load of results to do with "fingers", "angers", "teenagers" etc etc. So I tried 'Gers' and "Gers" (single and double quotes), I tried adding a space before or after, and it found none. Pointless . Most modern discussion boards allow to search for words, phrases, exact macthes etc.

I HATE the way this forum threads discussions. Modern forums (fora?) give the user options about the way things are displayed and, most important, will indicate which posts are new, not just which threads contain a new post. It is most annoying running down a list that is not alphanumeric to find the latest posts on a subject.

Whoever is in charge of this website, please - the world has moved on from the clunky dcforum perl script you are using. There are some fabulous FREE PHP/mySQL forums out there and they are a doddle to install. There are even tools that will help you migrate users and content. This forum has so much valuable information in it yet it is a right royal pain in the whatever to find it and then read it .

Finally (and this is really just a personal whinge - DO SOMETHING ABOUT THOSE CRAPPY 1990s SMILEYS!!!! They are just so awful! You need updated ones like these: http://www.arcania.info/forum/posting.php?mode=smilies

But seriously, check out this phpBB forum: http://arcania.info/forum/. Forget about the way it looks (which is great, but it's been highly customised). It is just simply a joy to use and in its standard uncustomised form looks just as great - people love it, and will in turn love the people who install and maintain it.

I mentioned all of this to Trevor Yorke at the last Living France seminar (or was it the one before that) but I guess he doesn't carry as much weight as I thought


The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without the effort."
- Emile Zola (1840 - 1902)
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I fully endorse your comments regarding on the Forum set up. I have mentioned this previously on a number of occassions, but it seems to falls on deaf ears. Unfortunately, there are many users of the site that do not want to see change and I suppose with the limited resources of LF the changes that have been promised are not forthcoming.

The wealth of infomation here is quite incredible, but it is often lost in the archives. The search facility is so poor and pathetically slow that the repetetive nature of so many of the questions is understandable.

If only this excellent Forum could be bought upto 21 century standards, what additional pleasure and ease of use to both old and new members it would become.

It would be very interesting to hear from Forum Administrator if and what are the future intentions of LF to improve this site.

I hope other members will on this occassion support your views Frank and lets hope everyone will be positive this time.


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Hi Frank

I think it boils down to money. The scripts may be free but server space (I think I remember them saying they need a new server if they upgrade), admin time etc all comes out of a budget and we pay sweet FA for the use of this resource.

I personally co-own a free forum for homeworkers and the amount of time (which equates to money) and also a bit of hard cash that we have to put out to keep the site up and running stops us doing some of the things we really want to do. We only have about 150 members, I think LF run to thousands - is it 4000?

If you take the phrase 'you get what you pay for' well we pay nowt but get a forum which is workable if clunky.

The Total France forum looks very user friendly and is nice to browse and post to, but it has members who are moderators - they give up their time to keep it going.

Now if all the techies would offer to turn up at LF's offices with a nice new shiny server, scripts, codes etc and a rota could be organised so that someone was always on call I am sure Elenor could be persuaded to let you loose


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I heartily agree with all your comments. Its all been said before and nothing will be done and you probably wont even get a response from the Administrator. (I dont blame her - she has a lot on her plate) LF is a commercial undertaking and basically although we get this forum for "free" LF use it to generate interest in their magazine, and for ideas and column space. They will give as little as possible whilst picking our brains. I loved the TotallyFrance site - it was very clear and easy - but the expertise is much greater on this site. Something needs to be done before the site reaches gridlock.
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