So far I have talked about a couple of design decisions (whether to use standard or extra tables, where to put the post_approved flag) and the impact on the development of my Post Approval MOD. I’m happy to say that I have the MOD 80% complete and installed on the main board where it’s needed. So far it appears to be working fine. The next step is to complete the moderator functionality for this MOD.
Here are a few screen shots showing the process. (And yes, my first test board for this MOD uses a green template, deal with it. ) First, here’s what the topic listing on viewforum.php looks like:
Moderator logged in
Normal user or guest
Notice that the moderator gets to see the actual topic with the tag [Approval Required] while a regular user or guest doesn’t see the topic title at all. That’s to protect users from seeing even a hint of spam in a topic title until it’s approved.
Now, suppose that you’re a user and you’re brand new on the board. When you start posting you have not yet been approved as a “trusted” user. So notice the header that appears over the top of the posting screen:
This is designed so that users are aware of what is going to happen. I really don’t care what spammers think but I want my regular users to be informed about what’s going on. Most users have probably experienced spam in one form or another, and so I hope they understand the reasons behind the restrictions. The last thing I want to do is lose users because of my anti-spam techniques.
It’s for that reason that I built in what I consider to be one of the most important features of this MOD: a user can see or even edit their post while it’s pending approval. After a user has entered their post, here’s what they see:
Notice that the Edit button is available. They can even reply to their own post, although other users cannot. Here’s what a normal user will see when trying to view this post:
And finally, here’s what a moderator sees when they view the post:
They have a new button next to the delete and IP buttons that allows them to approve the post. That part is completed; what’s left is to create an “approve all” link on the user profile so that a moderator can approve all of the posts for a specific user at once. I have been thinking about a “mass approval” option much like the “mass lock” or “mass delete” features of the moderator control panel, and so far I have decided not to offer that as a feature. I want the moderators to actually read / review each post prior to approving it. Since there is no “unapprove” option (and I don’t intend to create one) I want the moderators to review the posts individually.
The “approve all” link on the user profile is an exception. If a user has posted two or three times and they are obviously not a spammer, it should be okay to go ahead and approve the rest of their posts without reviewing them individually. But other than that, I don’t think I want to provide a “mass approve” function.