HOW TO USE FLARUM
Flarum is a forum software that's currently under development.
It features responsive design, and, as such, will appear differently depending on the screen size; the tutorial herein focuses firstly on the computer layout over mobile or tablet.
While guests are free to browse the forums at will, an account is necessary in order to post on them.
Registering an account is easy and only takes a valid e-mail address and a few clicks:
If you are on a computer or tablet, in the upper right corner of the site's navigation header is a link to sign up, which will bring up a modal where you may input a username, e-mail, and password; if you are on mobile these two are combined into an icon--a pencil halfway inside a square--which when clicked will bring up a modal, at the bottom of which you will find the link for signing up.
Once you have input the correct information, click the big button below those fields that is marked as "Sign Up", and a message will be sent to your e-mail with a link provided so that you may validate your account.
Once your account is validated, you're free to post on the forums!
In the upper right corner of the site's header is a link to log in, where you will input your username or e-mail and your password, then push the button that says "Log In"; on computer and tablet this link is written out, while on mobile it is a simple icon of a pencil and a square.
To access your account settings, click on your avatar/username in the upper right corner of the site's header [if you are on mobile you will instead tap the three bars in the upper left corner and tap your avatar/username there]; there will be a dropdown where you may view your profile,access your settings, or log out.
In your settings you may change your password, e-mail, or set an age and gender.
You may also alter your notification settings (notifications can be found by clicking on the bell icon next to your avatar/username in the header [or above your avatar/username if you are on mobile, in the drawer behind the three bars mentioned before]), check whether to automatically follow discussions that you reply to, and set privacy regarding whether or not others may see when you are online.
Inside your profile and settings you will see a sidebar on the left that allows you to look at your discussions, mentions, and posts.
For our forum we additionally have various profile fields that others can view which you may fill out under "configure profile", alongside a signature that you may edit.
The current restrictions on signatures are a maximum image width of 350 pixels, a maximum image height of 500 pixels, a maximum total images of 5, and a maximum character limit of 1000.
Throughout all of these tabs you'll see a container just below the header with a circle that you may click to upload an avatar or remove the one you have, your username, online status or last time you logged in (if you haven't unchecked the privacy option "Allow others to see when I am online"), and when you joined; if you're looking at someone else's profile, there is also a button marked "Controls" on the far right that, when clicked, will reveal a dropdown with an option to send that person a message.
Discussions are Flarum's version of threads or topics, and can be found in a list on the main page; this list, as well as the contents of the discussions themselves, scroll infinitely.
Above the discussion list are three buttons: to the left a dropdown toggle button to reorder the list, and to the right a refresh button and a "mark all as read" button in that order.
STARTING A DISCUSSION
See that big "Start a Discussion" button in the sidebar on the main page? Hit it! [On smaller screens this button is in the upper right corner of the screen, shown as an icon featuring a pencil in a square.]
Choose your tags, recipients, the discussion title, write a post in the field below, and then click "Post Discussion".
On the far right of this element's header there are three other buttons, through which you may minimize it (the "-" option), make it full screen (the two arrows), or close it ("X").
This new discussion pop-up will also remain even if you navigate elsewhere on the site, until you either post or close it.
editing a discussion
To edit recipients, tags, or titles, you can do so by hovering over your discussion on the main page and clicking the vertical "..." that pops up, then either "Rename", "Edit Recipients", or "Edit Tags".
These options can also be found inside a discussion on the right sidebar, by clicking the down area beside the "Reply" button.
[On mobile, click on the discussion that you want to edit, and then the vertical ellipsis in the upper right corner.]
REPLYING TO A DISCUSSION
You may use the reply button visible in a discussion's right sidebar or scroll down to the bottom.
You may also hover over another post and hit the "Reply" link that appears in the lower right corner of that post, which will also cause the new post to provide a tagged link to that particular post; if you don't want that, you can always delete it, or reply using one of the other mentioned methods.
Hover over one of your posts and then click the "..." that pops up in that post's lower right corner.
A dropdown will show with the option to edit or delete that post.
If a post is off-topic, inappropriate, spam, or for some other reason, users may flag it for staff to take a look at.
When hovering over the post in question, press the ellipsis that pops up in the post's lower right corner, check the radio button that pertains to the situation, write the reason why if you choose "other", and then press the "flag post" button.
Staff will be notified and decide what to do from there.
Besides the aforementioned option of dual linking/tagging a specific post inside that post's discussion through pressing the "reply" button, you may also click the time stating when a post was made--found just to the right of the username on the top left of that post--and a dropdown will be revealed with the precise date and time that post was made, and a URL that may be copy/pasted.
To quote a post or a portion of a post, drag select what you want to quote and the option to quote will pop up.
Note that you cannot drag between multiple posts, but you can quote multiple posts at once if you make an additional selection after the reply field has popped up.
FOLLOWING A DISCUSSION
On the main page's sidebar there's a "Following" link that will show you discussions that you've followed.
To follow a discussion, hover over it on the main page, click the vertical ellipsis, and then hit "Follow".
You may also open a discussion, then hit the follow button in the sidebar to the right, and/or click the down area beside it for more options.
[On mobile, the follow button is above the first post of a discussion.]
Private discussions are discussions where only a select few members can see, read, and reply to them.
To start a private discussion, begin with a new discussion as normal, then click the recipients option to choose who you want to join you in this private discussion.
You may also edit recipients at any time if you ever want to add or remove others from the discussion.
By setting yourself as the only recipient, you are able to make private discussions that only you can read.
There are two sidebars that can be found inside discussions.
The first is on the right and always visible, featuring buttons to reply and follow, as well as a timeline of the discussion.
You can use this timeline to quickly scroll through a discussion by sliding its internal scrollbar, or quickly jump to the beginning or end by clicking "Original Post" or "Now" respectively.
When your mouse hovers too far to the left in a discussion, you'll find a second sidebar listing discussions sliding out.
These discussions are always listed according to the tag level you were on before entering a discussion: for instance, if you were on "All Discussions" before clicking a discussion, this sidebar will show all discussions, but if you were under a specific tag, it will only show discussions listed under that tag.
To get rid of it, simply move your mouse pointer off of it.
If it seems stuck, simply move your pointer on and off of it, and that should fix the issue.
You can also pin this sidebar with the little pin icon on top so that it doesn't go away when you move your mouse off of it; this will cause the discussion to fit its text into the area provided so that part of it is no longer hidden.
Always above this sidebar is also a left-pointing angle bracket that, upon clicking, will return you to the main page.
[On mobile, there are no sidebars.
The timeline can be accessed by clicking the post counter in the header.]
Tags are an extension to the software.
Tags are used to categorize discussions.
Primary tags are like traditional forum categories: they can be arranged in a two-level hierarchy.
Secondary tags do not have hierarchy or order, and are useful for micro-categorization.
Some tags have descriptions: hover over a tag in the sidebar or under a discussion's title to see them, or click a tag's link and scroll up to see its header.
Tags are listed on the main or "All Discussions" page in one of three different ways depending on the width of the viewport; in order from widest to narrowest: in a sidebar to the left of the discussion list, above the discussions, or in a container after clicking on a title in the header.
However, this listing only shows some tags--all of the first-level primary tags--which can be selected one at a time to show their respective second-level tags--and only a few secondary tags: click here to see all of them; you can also click the "Tags" link in the sidebar.