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AOL Forum

by "Cajun" David Richard

It finally happened. After many months of planning, proposing and pestering, we have finally moved up from a text based forum on America Online to a RAINMAN+ forum. If you are an AOL User, you have probably noticed changes in our forum by now. If you haven't dropped by the forum, then you ought to be ashamed of yourself!

The new forum is based on a scripting language called RAINMAN+, which is what is used by everybody who works with AOL doing forum management. It's what is used to build everything, and offers a very easy procedure for upgrading and changing information on the service. I welcome it because it really makes my job easier, and also helps me keep all of our stuff organized.

But, with all good news, there is always some bad. As soon as we were approved, we were notified that AOL had run out of art ID's (you know, the art that is downloaded to your computer the first time you go to an area). Unfortunately, we have to use a standard interface that is provided by AOL.

However this is only temporary. We have a different interface planned and are waiting for AOL to solve this present dilemma. Regardless, the new forum does offer many advantages for you, the AOL surfer.

You will not notice anything drastically different with the main screen, but a closer look will reveal more:

The Library: The new format allows us to organize everything in our library. In fact, we are still using the older library and simply referencing files that are there. Instead of looking at a list of files when you want to download something, each file has its own info page, and each page allows you to download the file immediately, or save it for downloading later.

The Member Contributions Library: This is the biggest addition. This is a separate library where our loyal customers can upload anything they'd like to our forum. Extra sound files, sprites, icons, picts etc., can all be uploaded here for others to enjoy. We do ask that you drop us a note and let us know that you have uploaded something.

The What's New Section: Finally! One stop shopping for all the latest Ambrosia news! The What's New section will always have the latest releases from Ambrosia so you won't have to go searching through the library.

Product Information: The Product Information area has files organized by product, rather than by category as in the library. Here, you will find installers, updates, FAQ's, PR's and Press Kits grouped by product.

Web Link: This is a cool little list item that, when clicked on, will take you to our web page using AOL's Web Browser. This is a handy thing that I thought would serve as the icing on the cake.

I hope everyone finds the new forum a little more logical and organized. I am always available for comments and questions, and would welcome any feedback that you may have about the forum.

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