New site theme and features

Hi Everyone,

Some new updates to the Forum that will hopefully make it a better experience for everyone.

First of all we have moved away from the default Discourse theme and installed Air Theme. I hope you agree it looks much nicer. We will keep this theme in place unless it proves problematic with feature upgrades or any core functionality of the forum.

We have also implemented Google AdSense to help fund the hosting of the site. We are currently waiting on approval from Google before they will display but you can already see the “advertisement” place holders on the top and bottom of each page. We will try to minimise advertising but we’re hoping that the site will eventually be able to fund itself so that this community can continue to flourish.

We now have a cake day feature which will show a birthday cake beside a user’s name on their birthday or on the date they joined Architected World. Who doesn’t love a little celebration?!

We’ve added a check box feature. You can create a checkbox with the following syntax:

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We now have the ability to use graphviz to render graphs using the DOT language.
Example syntax:

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Results:

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See the Graphviz site for documentation and more examples.

You can now login using your LinkedIn, Amazon, Facebook & Microsoft credentials. Apple authentication is also on the way. We’re just waiting for Apple to complete some verifications and that should be up and running very soon.

We can now vote on posts. To create a new topic with votable posts open the menu in the top left of the composer and select ‘Toggle Post Voting’:

That can be used for specific questions where you would like the best answer to be voted by the community. Like “What does reference architecture really mean?” or “Is Site Reliability Engineer an actual job?”

We can now react to posts with more emojis such as thumbs up, laugh, clap etc. instead of just the love heart. Let me know if there are any specific emojis you would like to see added and if enough of you agree then we will add it. No, we’re not adding thumbs down or turds so don’t ask. Lets keep it positive people.

And last but not least we have a spoiler feature that will obscure text or a picture until you click it. Use the following syntax to activate it:

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Here is a live preview: All architecture is design but not all design is architecture. Yay spoiler!

We hope you all enjoy the new features. We’re working hard to make this the best IT Solution Architecture and Enterprise Architecture discussion forum and community on the web!

If there is a particular feature that you would like to see implemented or modified please let us know and we will try our best to make it happen!