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jasbell 02-25-2007 11:32 PM

New GARS owner: Where is a custom field shown?
This may seem like a really dumb question, but I have not been able to find a reference in these forums describing WHAT CUSTOM FIELDS DO. (though there are plenty of references regarding how to create them).

Do they replace (or can they replace) custom user profile fields? Is it only for use within postings? Where are they used, where cant they be used, and what are they meant to customize in the first place?


BraindG 02-26-2007 10:31 AM

custom fields can be used for anything you want really, heres what I used them for.

I created an articles area on my forums, with the following custom fields.

1. How easy - drop down menu with 5 different difficulties.
2. Time take - drop down menu with 5 different times.
3. Tools required - a text field allowing ppl to enter what tools are needed.
4. References - text field allowing them to place links to websites where you can buy the parts, or even link to other threads
5. Key words - this was supposed to allow for easier searching but custom fields are not searchable, so I just copy the keywords into article each time a new ones been made.

these custom fields were set to show at "Below Header" allowing each article to have the same feel to it as the next. Previously people would just make up their own headers (tools required, time taken) they used different colours, and fonts - it could be quite messy sometimes.. this way allows me to control the main page, allowing a nice streamline affair.

Well, that's what I used them for.

jasbell 02-26-2007 02:44 PM

Are they only applicable to articles? I was looking for a way to use them for User Profile custom fields. I know VB has this, but the GEEK system seems more robust. Also, I would like to be able to select posts from forums and redisplay them contextually in another context as a collection of relevant information.

What I want to understand is what problem are GARS Custom Fields specifically trying to solve, and where and in what context they can and cant be used.

Tigratrus 02-28-2007 12:21 AM

Lets take a step back shall we?

You are coming across as more than a little impatient. Please bear in mind that most of the folks on this board are admins much as yourself. Most of us have figured out how to use the various systems to do what WE need to do, but that doesn't mean we're qualified to explain how best to use them in *your* situation. BraindG did a pretty good job of laying out how HE uses custom fields and why.

In my experience/opinion, different people use custom fields for different things, there is no one *right way* to use them or single problem they are designed to address. They are a capability of the system, how you use them is really up to you. We use them in most of our GARS forums as categorization fields, so that the forum can be resorted and filtered to help the member find what they are looking for more quickly.

As to the question about using them in the member profile, I'd tend to guess "no" as I believe they are associated with a particular Post/thread, which is really what GARS is, a way to heavily customize a given forum so that the posts are quite different from normal vBulletin, and the 1st post is handled differently from all succesive posts. But I'm not really sure about that answer, and the way you're kind of coming across, I'm guessing that nobody really want to speculate. Everyone is probably just waiting for the Geek to get back as he's likely the best person to give you the answer you're looking for, it's his system.

If you look at posting patterns you'll probably see that when the Geek's home/online he generally responds to almost every outstanding question normally once in the morning and often another round in the evening (taking into account that he's in England, so he's about 5 hours ahead of EST where I happen to be. He hasn't posted for several days, so I'm guessing he's away on a trip of some sort or maybe he's on a short vacation. The man *does* have a life and obligations outside of these boards ;).

Lizard King happens to be one of the more knowledgeable and helpful folks here, he frequently steps in to help people with issues when the Geek's away or in the middle of something else. Maybe his initial post wasn't the most tactful, I'd guess that your impatience just rubbed him the wrong way, we're all human. I think if you go back and read carefully, you'll see that he DID try to back away from the personal attacks and simply answer at least part of your question. I certainly understand that you have questions and you're frustrated because you can't get answers right away... Personally what I'd do is play with it. The profile question is certainly a good one to ask, I'm quite certain the Geek will have an answer for you when he returns, but it doesn't look like anyone else does.

I'd work with the rest of the system while you wait, figure out as much as you can and ask any specific questions that you just can't figure out. GARS is a bit twisty, but once you figure out the basics and play with it in a few forums you'll probably start to get the gist of how it works.

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck in figuring out what you need to... Geeks got some really great tools here, even if they do make you bang your head against the monitor from time to time. And keep in mind the old phrase about honey and vinegar hmmm?;)

James and Susan

The Geek 02-28-2007 06:52 PM

I do apologise, I have been out of town on business for the past several days and I understand it can be frustrating trying to get answers when everyones is away.

To answer your question - the system is tied specifically to the thread itself.

BTW: Im deleting several of the previous posts because its not really relevant anymore :)

jasbell 02-28-2007 11:51 PM

Thank you Geek and Tigratus.

I think its really important to update the Tutorials etc because these basic issues are not obvious and cause more question asking about things that should be very clear at the outset. That clutters up your forum and gives you more moderation work. Here is what Waltercat sent me which was very helpful:

The settings section assigns a GARS type to a specific forum.
The Type is the type of GARS forums you are creating. That is the main section where you assign ratings, modules, custom fields etc.
The modules section allows you to configure how you want your modules to look.
The ratings section allows you to create different sets of ratings.
The custom fields section allows you to create custom fields.

As you mentioned its also key that people underatdn that GARS affects only forum post screens.

Thanks again, and by the way Tigratus I am in New York

The Geek 03-01-2007 08:16 AM

Agreed that more documentation needs to be done - but it has always been down to code more or document more :)

THere is a potential solution in the pipeline though :)

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