Creating Forums with Message Boards

Creating Forums with Message Boards

Liferay DXP’s Message Boards app is a state of the art forum application similar to many forums in which you may have participated. The difference, of course, is that Liferay’s message boards can inherit the abilities of Liferay DXP to provide an integrated experience that others cannot match.

There are countless web sites out there where it is clearly evident that there is no link whatsoever between the main site and the message boards. In some cases, users are even required to register twice: once for the main site and once for the message boards. Sometimes it is three times: for the site, for the message boards, and for the shopping cart. By providing a message boards application along with all of the other applications, Liferay provides a unique, integrated approach to building sites. You can concentrate on building your site while Liferay DXP does the integration work for you.

Message Boards offers many configuration options. They are straightforward to use and are the reason why it’s a full-featured forum application for your site. Let’s create a message board.

Creating Message Boards

You can create a message board instance for a Liferay DXP instance, a site, or page. An instance’s message board can be used on any of its pages. A message board can be scoped to a site, including a regular site, an organization’s site, or a user’s profile site or dashboard site. Message Boards in Site Administration lets you administer all of a message board’s options. Each Liferay DXP instance and site has a message board instance built-in. If you want to work with a message board scoped to a page, you must create the page scope from a Message Boards application on that page.

To scope a message board to a page, first add the Message Boards application to the page. Then click the app’s Options icon (Options), select Configuration, and select the Scope tab, to list the available scopes. Select the scope with page’s name, or PageName (Create New), if the scope hasn’t been created already. Your message board is now scoped to the page and available to work with in Site Administration.

To administer a message board, open the Menu (Menu) and navigate to the Content section for your site, page, or global scope. The Message Boards administration screen appears.

Figure 1: A Message Board instance starts empty, ready for you to configure for your purposes.

Figure 1: A Message Board instance starts empty, ready for you to configure for your purposes.

Initially, a message board has no categories or threads; and that’s good, because you need to configure it for your purposes. To open the message board’s configuration screen, click the message board’s Options icon (Options) and select Configuration. From the Configuration tabs, you can configure the message board for the behavior you want.

General Setup

From the General configuration tab, you can enable anonymous posting, subscribe by default, flags, ratings, and thread as question by default. You can also choose whether to use BBCode or HTML as your message format. You can also choose how long posts display on the message board. Anonymous posting, subscribe by default, flags, and ratings are selected by default and the default message format is BBCode.

Enabling Allow Anonymous Posting allows guest users to post messages to your message board. Whether or not you should do this depends on the type of community you are building. Allowing anonymous posting opens your site to anyone who might want to spam your forums with unwanted or off topic advertising messages. For this reason, most message boards administrators turn anonymous posting off by unchecking this box.

Enabling the Subscribe by Default option automatically subscribes users to threads they participate in. Whenever a message in a thread is added or updated, Liferay DXP sends a notification email to all users subscribed to the thread.

You can set the Message Format to either BBCode or HTML. This determines the markup language of users’ actual message board posts. The type of WYSIWYG editor presented to users depends on which option is enabled. Both editors have a Source button which lets users view a message’s underlying BBCode or HTML. Users can compose messages using either the WYSIWYG or Source view and can switch between views during message composition by clicking on the Source button.

Enabling Enable Flags lets users flag content which they consider to be objectionable. If you are allowing anonymous posting, you might use flags in combination with it if you have someone administering your message boards on a daily basis. That way, any unwanted messages can be flagged by your community, and you can review those flagged messages and take whatever action is necessary. Using flags is also a good practice even if you’re not allowing anonymous posting.

Enabling Enable Ratings allows users to score posts. The scores are used by Liferay DXP’s social activity system to rank site members by how helpful their contributions are. You can read more about social activity in the Measuring Social Activity article.

Enabling the Thread as Question by Default option automatically checks the mark as question box in the new thread window. Threads marked as questions display the flag “waiting for an answer.” Subsequent replies to the original message can be marked as an answer.

Lastly, you can set the amount of time a post is displayed on the message board’s Recent Posts tab until it is taken away. You have options of 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, and 365 days. After the time has passed, the post is removed from Recent Posts. However, the post itself isn’t deleted. It remains accessible everywhere else in the message board.

Email Setup

Message Boards provides options for configuring the email sender and specifying the mail message to use when someone posts a new message board thread or updates a thread.

Email From: This tab allows you to configure the name and email address from which message board email notifications are sent. The default name and email address are those of the default administrator account (e.g., Test Test and the email address is test@liferay.com) you configured in the Basic Configuration Wizard. Make sure to update this email address to a valid one that can be dedicated to notifications. You can determine whether to support HTML in your email messages. Lastly, you can expand the Definition of Terms section to see variables available to use in your emails.

Message Added Email: This tab allows you to customize the email message that users receive when a message is added to a topic to which they are subscribed.

  • Enabled: allows you to turn on the automatic emails to subscribed users. Uncheck the box to disable the message added emails.

  • Subject: lets you choose a prefix to be prepended to the subject line of the email. This is usually done so that users can set up message filters to filter the notifications to a specific folder in their email clients.

  • Body: allows you to write some content that should appear in the body of the email.

  • Signature: lets you add some content to appear as the signature of the email.

  • Definition of Terms: This section defines certain variables which you can use in the fields above to customize the email message. Some of these variables are for the message board category name, the site name, and more.

Message Updated Email: The Message Updated Email tab is identical to the Message Added Email tab, except it defines the email message that users receive whenever a message is updated. Next, you can specify priority classifications for message threads.

Thread Priorities

You can define custom priorities for message threads on this tab. This allows privileged roles to tag a thread with a certain priority in order to highlight it for users. By default, three priorities are defined: Urgent, Sticky, and Announcement. To define a thread priority, enter its name, a URL to the image icon that represents it, and a priority number. Threads with a higher priority are posted above threads with a lower priority.

Thread Icons

 IconDefinition
UrgentUrgent
AnnouncementAnnouncement
StickySticky
QuestionQuestion

The localized language field lets you name the priorities in each locale. You can select the locale, update the priority names for it, and save your updates.

User Ranks

On this tab, users can be ranked according to the number of messages they have posted. You can set up custom ranks here. Defaults have been provided for you, going from zero messages all the way up to one thousand.

In addition to ranks, you can also choose labels for certain users to have displayed in their profiles as shown by the Message Boards application. The labels correspond to memberships the users have in Liferay DXP. Below are examples of using the label Moderator. The Moderator label in this configuration is applied for anyone who is a part of any of the Message Boards Administrator groups: the site role, the organization, the organization role, the regular role, or the user group. Of course, you probably wouldn’t want to create a role, organization, organization role, site role, and user group all with the same name in your Virtual Instance, but you get the idea.

Moderator=organization:Message Boards Administrator

Moderator=organization-role:Message Boards Administrator

Moderator=regular-role:Message Boards Administrator

Moderator=site-role:Message Boards Administrator

Moderator=user-group:Message Boards Administrator

As you can see, all you need to do is set the rank, the collection type, and the name of the type. In the example above, anyone who has a site role, an organization role, a regular role, or is in a user group called Message Boards Administrator, or anyone who is the organization owner gets the Moderator rank.

As with thread priority names, the Localized Language field lets you localize rank names. RSS feed configuration is next.

RSS

Message board threads can be published as RSS feeds. This tab allows you to enable/disable RSS subscriptions and define how the feeds are generated.

Maximum Items to Display: lets you select the number of items to display in the feed.

Display Style: lets you select the style. You can publish the full content, an abstract, or just the title of a thread.

Format: allows you to choose the format: RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, or Atom 1.0.

Once you’ve finished configuring your message board, make sure to Save your changes.

From Message Boards in Site Administration, you can configure the message board’s permissions.

Message Board Permissions

To edit message board permissions, click on the Options icon (Options) and select the Home Category Permissions option. This permissions screen allows you to grant and revoke a role’s ability to access parts of the application and perform particular actions.

The permissions enable a role to perform the following actions.

Lock Thread: Stop any further additions or modifications to a thread’s messages.

Subscribe: Enlist yourself to receive notifications on new and modified posts.

Reply to Message: Respond to an existing message.

Add File: The user can attach a file to his message.

Permissions: View and modify permissions.

Add Message: Post a new thread.

View: View all the contents of message threads.

Add Category: Add a new category to the message board.

Update Thread Priority: Modify a thread’s priority.

Ban User: Forbid a user from participating in the message board.

Move Thread: Move a thread to a different category or subcategory.

Configure the roles with the permissions you want and Save your changes.

In addition to the Home Category Permissions option, there the Permissions option. It’s for specifying the application instance’s general permissions. It lets you control access to the application instance’s options menu and to that menu’s Configuration and Permissions options. There’s also Preferences permission that allows you to control access to the application instance’s preference options, if the app has any custom preferences.

Now that you’ve configured your message board and set its permissions, you can focus on adding categories for message board threads.

Adding Categories

You are now ready to add categories to your message boards. Click the Add icon (Add) and select Category button. Enter a name for the category and a description of the category.

Categories can have different display styles. The available categories must be set in portal property message.boards.category.display.styles and the default category in message.boards.category.display.styles.default. When creating a new category, you can select the display style you like. By default, Message Boards provides two predefined display styles, although many more can be easily added:

Default: classic display style for general purpose and discussions.

Question: designed for discussions in a format of questions and answers.

Figure 2: You have several options to create a message board category for your needs.

Figure 2: You have several options to create a message board category for your needs.

The Permissions section provides a selector for quickly choosing who can view the category and a link to a table that presents the category’s other permission options. The Viewable by selector lets you choose from the following values to determine who can view the category: Anyone (Guest Role), Site Members, or Owner.

To show more permission options, click More Options. A table appears with the rest of the category’s permissions:

Lock Thread: Stop any further additions or modifications to a thread’s messages.

Add Subcategory: Add a new category within this category.

Update: Edit the category.

Subscribe: Enlist yourself to receive notifications on new and modified posts.

Reply to Message: Respond to existing messages.

Add File: Attach a file to any of your messages.

Permissions: View and modify permissions.

Delete: Remove the category.

Add Message: Post a new thread.

Update Thread Priority: Modify a thread’s priority.

Move Thread: Move a thread to a different category or subcategory.

After you’ve created a category, you can revisit its permission options by clicking the category’s Actions icon (Actions) and selecting Permissions.

The form also lets you enable the mailing list function. If don’t want to add a mailing list to the category you’re creating, you can save your changes now. You can always edit an existing category to add, edit, or remove a mailing list. The next section explains user subscriptions and mailing lists.

You can add as many categories to your message boards as you wish. And categories can have subcategories. You can add any number of top-level categories to a message board. You can also edit a category and add subcategories to an unlimited level. For usability reasons, you don’t want to nest categories too deep, or your users will have trouble finding them. You can always add more categories as your message boards grow. Finally, each category can have any number of threads.

Also, you may move a category or merge a category’s threads with a different Parent Category. To bring up the the Move screen, select the category’s Move option. You can select a different Parent Category, optionally select the Merge with Parent Category check box, and click Move.

As you add categories to a message board, they’re listed on the message board’s home. The list displays the names of the categories and the numbers of subcategories, threads, and posts in each one. To add a subcategory to category, click on the category’s name in the list and then click the Add icon and select Subcategory. The form for adding a subcategory appears and is populated, by default, with the properties of the parent category. This includes the parent category’s display style (Default or Question) and mailing list configuration. Of course, you can change the display style or mailing list configuration of a subcategory just as with any category. The Add Subcategory form and the Add Category form are the same.

Figure 3: Categories help you organize threads so users can find topical threads that interest them.

Figure 3: Categories help you organize threads so users can find topical threads that interest them.

Liferay DXP’s Message Boards supports two different mechanisms for sending email notifications: user subscriptions and mailing lists. Let’s discuss user subscriptions first and then mailing lists.

User Subscriptions and Mailing Lists

The first mechanism Liferay DXP uses for sending email notifications is user subscriptions. Users can subscribe to particular categories and threads. Liferay uses the message board’s configured Email From address to send email notifications to subscribed users, whenever a new post is created or an existing post is updated. Liferay can import email replies to message board notifications directly into the message board. This is a very useful feature since it allows users to interact on the message board via email, without needing to log in to Liferay DXP and view the message board page directly. This feature is, however, disabled by default. To enable it, add the following line to your portal-ext.properties file:

pop.server.notifications.enabled=true

As this property suggests, Message Board’s user subscription mechanism uses the POP mail protocol. When an email reply to a message board notification is read by Liferay DXP, the reply is posted to the message board and then deleted from the mail server. Deleting the message from the mail server is the POP protocol’s default behavior and Liferay DXP assumes that your POP mail server behaves this way. Most POP clients offer an option to leave mail on the mail server after it’s been downloaded, but you shouldn’t exercise this option. If you configure mail to be left on the mail server, Liferay DXP will repeatedly send copies of each retained message along with each new email notification that’s sent to subscribed users.

When enabling message boards to import replies to email notifications, you should decide whether or not you want to use a mail server subdomain to handle notifications. By default the following property setting is specified in the portal properties:

pop.server.subdomain=events

This property creates a special MX (mail exchange) subdomain to receive all virtual instance related email (e.g., events.liferay.com). If you don’t want to use the subdomain approach, you can unset this value to tell Liferay to use the Email From address, specified in the Message Board’s configuration, to receive message board notification email replies. For example, the Email From address could be set to replies@liferay.com.

If you don’t want to use a mail server subdomain, add the following line to your portal-ext.properties file:

pop.server.subdomain=

If you’re not using a mail subdomain, Liferay DXP parses the message headers of emails from the Email From address to determine the message board category and message ID. If you keep the pop.server.subdomain=events default, the email notification address takes the following form: mb.[category_id][message_id]@events.liferay.com. In this case, Liferay DXP parses the email address to find the category and message ID. Parsing the email address is safer than parsing message headers, since different email clients treat message headers differently. This is why the events subdomain is enabled by default.

Additionally, you can configure the interval on which the POPNotificationListener runs. The value is set in one minute increments. The default setting is to check for new mail every minute, but you can set it to whatever you like:

pop.server.notifications.interval=1

The second mechanism Liferay DXP uses for sending email notifications is mailing lists. Any category in a Liferay DXP message board can have its own mailing list. Liferay DXP’s mailing list mechanism, unlike its user subscription mechanism, supports both the POP and the IMAP protocols. POP is the default protocol, but each message board’s mailing list is configured independently. If you choose the IMAP protocol for a category’s mailing list, make sure to configure the IMAP inbox to delete messages as they are pulled by the email client that sends messages to the users on the mailing list. Otherwise, each email message that’s retained on the server will be sent to the mailing list each time there’s a new post or an update in the category.

When a mailing list is enabled for a message board category, Liferay DXP listens to the specific email inbox that’s configured for the mailing list. Enabling the mailing list function allows users on the mailing list to simply reply to the notification messages in their email clients. Liferay DXP pulls the messages from the email inbox it’s configured to listen to and automatically copies those replies to the appropriate message board thread.

With both user subscriptions and mailing lists, users can reply to message board notification emails and Liferay DXP imports their replies to the message board. However, with mailing lists, users reply to the mailing list and Liferay DXP listens to the specific inbox configured for the mailing list and copies messages to the appropriate message board category. With user subscriptions, by default, email replies to message board notifications are not imported to the message boards. This feature has to be enabled in your portal-ext.properties file. Once this feature has been enabled, users can reply to a specific address and have their replies copied to the message board.

Note: Since any number of sites can use a globally scoped message board, globally scoped message boards do not support user subscriptions or mailing lists. Make sure to use a site-scoped or page-scoped message board if you need user subscriptions or a mailing list with your message board.

To enable the mailing list functionality for a category, you need a dedicated email address for the category. Then, click on your category’s Edit option. Once you select the Active check box, a number of other options appear. When a mailing list is activated, Liferay DXP imports messages it receives from the mailing list to the message board. Liferay DXP looks for a Liferay user with the sender’s email address. If the sender isn’t a Liferay user and the Allow Anonymous Emails box is unchecked, the message is thrown away and not posted to the message board. If the Allow Anonymous Emails box is checked, anyone can send email to the message board category’s dedicated email account and Liferay DXP copies the messages to the message board.

Email Address: lets you enter the email address of the account that will receive the messages.

Next, there are two sections: Incoming and Outgoing. These define the mail settings for receiving mail and for sending mail. The Incoming section has the following options:

Protocol: lets you select POP or IMAP.

Server Name: lets you enter the host name of the mail server you are using.

Server Port: allows you to specify the port on which your mail service is running.

Use a Secure Network Connection: lets you use an encrypted connection if your server supports it.

User Name: lets you enter the login name on the mail server.

Password: lets you enter the password for the account on the server.

Read Interval (Minutes): allows you to specify how often Liferay DXP polls the server looking for new messages to post to the message board.

The Outgoing section has the following options:

Email Address: lets you enter the email address that messages from this category should come from. If you want your users to be able to reply to the categories using email, this should be the same address configured on the Incoming section.

Use Custom Outgoing Server: allows you to use a different mail server than the one that is configured for the Liferay DXP instance. If you check this box, more options appear:

  • Server Name: lets you enter the host name of the SMTP mail server you are using.

  • Server Port: allows you to specify the port on which your mail service is running.

  • Use a Secure Network Connection: allows you to use an encrypted connection if your server supports it.

  • User Name: lets you enter the login name on the mail server.

  • Password: lets you enter the password for the account on the mail server.

When you’re finished configuring the mailing list for your category, click Save.

Now that you’ve created message boards and message board categories, you can explore posting messages to them and interacting with other user’s threads.

Using the Message Boards

You can add the Message Boards application to a page from the Add (Add) menu’s Collaboration section. Users will immediately recognize that the interface is similar to many other implementations they’ve seen before. Message boards are nothing new to the Internet, and many people have been using them for quite a long time. In any case, it can’t hurt to explore how to use Liferay Message Boards and discover all of its features.

Figure 4: The Message Boards application lets you explore its categories, interact with message threads, and post new messages.

Figure 4: The Message Boards application lets you explore its categories, interact with message threads, and post new messages.

Threads can be viewed in many ways. At the top of the application is a set of tabs: Message Boards Home, Recent posts, My Posts, My Subscriptions, and for administrative users, Statistics and Banned Users. The Recent Posts tab shows all posts from all categories by date, so you can keep up on all the most recent discussions in the message boards. The My Posts tab shows all of the user’s posts. It provides a convenient interface for revisiting previous conversations in order to retrieve pertinent information. The My Subscriptions tab allows the user to manage thread subscriptions. If you lose interest in a particular topic, you may want to visit this tab and unsubscribe from a category or thread.

For administrators, the Statistics tab shows the number of categories, the number of posts, and the number of participants in your message boards. It also has a list of your message board’s top contributors. The Banned Users tab shows all of the users who have been banned from posting on the message boards.

Posting New Threads

To post a new thread click the Post New Thread button in the app or Add in Message Boards in Site Administration) and select Thread. A message editing form appears. The body field on this form is different from that of the other Liferay DXP applications. The reason for this is to support BBCode, which is a standard form of markup used in many message board products. Before BBCode was invented, many message board products would allow users to enter HTML to format their messages. This, however, enabled attackers to insert malicious code into the message board. BBCode was invented to provide users a way of formatting their messages without allowing them to enter HTML. Similarly, Liferay supports BBCode in the message boards because the other editors–which are used for the Content Management System, Blogs, and other applications–produce HTML. This is appropriate for those other apps, as they are only used by privileged users, but it is not appropriate for the message boards. Besides this, many users of message boards are familiar with BBCode and are used to it, and the editor that is provided for Liferay’s Message Boards application makes it very easy to use.

Message Boards uses a rich-text editor. It supports bold, italicized, underlined, and crossed-out text, links, images, colors, lists, tables, alignments, quotation blocks, code blocks, different fonts and font sizes, and more. The editor has keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+b for bold, Ctrl+i for italics, and Ctrl+u for underline. You can mention another other user by entering the “@” character followed by the user’s user name. There are even a bunch of smiley faces that you can use.

After entering the message’s Subject, enter your message Body. Below the Body are sections that let you attach files (e.g., images) to your message, categorize it, tag it, and relate it to other assets. expand the More Settings section in the list of sections below the content editor. The user can specify thread options that the message board permits. The options include marking the message as a question, posting anonymously, subscribing to the message thread, assigning the message a pre-defined priority, and allowing pingbacks to the message.

The user can also specify permissions. The message can be set to be viewable by a particular role. And the following additional permissions can be set on the message:

Update: Edit the message.

Subscribe: Receive notifications of updates to the message and its thread.

Permissions: Grant/revoke permissions for the message.

Delete: Remove the message.

View: View the message.

A permissions icon appears above each posted message. You can revisit the above permissions by clicking the permissions icon.

When you’re done editing and configuring your message, you can preview it, and save it as a draft or publish it. Once it’s published, it’s listed along with the other threads in the category.

Message Boards is also highly integrated with Liferay DXP’s user management features. When you click on a thread or thread reply’s subject link, the author’s profile picture, name, rank, number of posts, the date the user joined the site, and a link to the user’s recent posts.

Participating in Message Board Threads

To find message board threads that interest you, browse a message board’s categories or Recent Posts. You can view a category’s thread listing by clicking on the category’s name. From within a category screen, you can subscribe to an RSS feed and/or emails that inform you about thread activities in that category. Similar to a category’s screen, Recent Posts lists threads too, except they’re the latest threads across all the categories.

To view a message thread, click on it. Messages are shown in a threaded view so that replies are aligned under their proper parent thread. This makes it easy to follow along with conversations. Thread replies are indented under their parent thread.

Figure 5: A threads view displays author information and thread content, for the thread and all replies to the thread.

Figure 5: A thread's view displays author information and thread content, for the thread and all replies to the thread.

Subscribing to a thread causes Liferay DXP to send the user an email whenever a new message is posted to the thread. If you have enabled the mailing list feature for the category in which the thread resides, users can simply reply to these messages in order to post back to the thread, without having to visit your site.

Most threads get more interesting as users reply to them. You can start creating a response by clicking one of the following buttons: Reply, Reply with Quote, or Quick Reply. The Reply screen includes the same rich-text editor and options that you use for posting new messages. If you want to include text from the original message, click Reply with Quote. If you only need the rich-text editor to generate your reponse and don’t need any other message options, click Quick Reply. The editor lets you insert emoticons, preformatted text, and more.

In addition to replying to a message, you can rate it or flag it as objectionable. A message board moderator can evaluate flagged messages and decide how to handle the messages and their authors. This provides an appropriate segue into the next topic: managing message boards.

Managing Message Boards

Message boards are powerful, but can become unweildy if left unmanaged. The Message Boards in Site Administration facilitates day to day thread administration. You may wish to separate this function out by a role, and then delegate that role to one or more users. That would free you up to concentrate on other areas of your site. To do this, you can, for example, create a role called Message Board Administrator. This role can be scoped to the Liferay instance, an organization, or a site. If you create an instance-scoped role, members of this role will be able to administer Message Boards throughout Liferay DXP. If it is an organization or site-scoped role, members of this role will be able to administer a Message Boards application in only that organization or site.

You can create such a role from the Control Panel. To define the role’s permissions, click its Define Permissions action and navigate to Site Administration → Content → Message Boards. A screen appears that allows you to configure the various Message Boards permissions.

Select the permissions you would like message board administrators to have and save them. You can add users to this role. Message board administrators can perform all the message board functions already presented, including creating and deleting categories and posting threads. In addition to these, a number of other functions are available.

Locking Threads

You may encounter threads that you think should be preserved, but stoppped. You can halt activity on a thread by clicking Lock Thread.

Moving Threads

Many times a user will post a thread in the wrong category. Administrators may in this case want to move a thread to the proper category. This is very easy to do. You can select the Actions menu (Actions) to the right of the thread and choose Move. Or, if you are already viewing the thread and you have administrative access, there is a link at the top of the thread labeled Move Thread. Click this link. You will be presented with a simple form which allows you to select a category to which to move the thread and a check box which allows you to post a message explaining why the thread was moved. This message will be posted as a reply to the thread you are moving. When finished, click the Move Thread button and the thread will be moved.

Deleting Threads

Users with administrative access to the message boards can delete threads. Sometimes users begin discussing topics that are inappropriate or that reveal confidential information. In this case, you can simply delete the thread from the message boards. This is easy to do. First, view the list of threads. Click Actions button and select Move to the Recycle Bin to delete the thread. This does not prevent users from re-posting the information, so you may need to be vigilant in deleting threads or consider the next option.

Banning Users

Unfortunately, sometimes certain users become abusive. If you wind up with a user like this, you can certainly make attempts to warn him or her that the behavior he or she is displaying is unacceptable. If this does not work, you can ban the user from posting on the message boards.

Again, this is very easy to do. Find any post which was written by the abusive user. Underneath the user’s name/profile picture is a link called Ban this User. Click this link to ban the user from the message boards.

If after taking this action the user apologizes and agrees to stop his or her abusive behavior, you can choose to reinstate the user. To do this, click the Banned Users tab at the top of the message board. This will show a list of all banned users. Find the user in the list and select Unban this User.

Splitting Threads

Sometimes a thread will go on for a while and the discussion completely changes into something else. In this case, you can split the thread where the discussion diverges and create a whole new thread for the new topic. Administrative users will see a Split Thread link on each post. To split the thread, click the link. You will be brought to a form which allows you to add an explanation post to the split thread. Click OK to split the thread.

Editing Posts

Administrative users can edit anyone’s posts, not just their own. Sometimes users will post links to copyrighted material or unsuitable pictures. You can edit these posts, which allows you to redact information that should not be posted or to censor profanity that is not allowed on your message boards. You can also update the thread’s priority or mark a reply as an answer to a thread’s question.

Permissions

Permissions can be set not only on threads, but also on individual posts. You can choose to limit a particular conversation or a post to only a select group of people. To do this, click the Permissions link on the post and then select among the Delete, Permissions, Subscribe, Update, and View permissions for the particular role to which you want to grant particular access. This function can be used, for example, to allow some privileged users to post on a certain thread, while others are only allowed to view it. Other combinations of the above permissions are also possible.

That wraps up message board management basics.

Summary

As you’ve discovered, Liferay’s Message Boards provides full-featured forums for users to ask questions, discuss topics, and share small amounts of information. Message boards help to build strong site communities. Next, let’s learn how users can mention other users in their content and in comments and thread replies.

« Publishing BlogsMentioning Users »
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