SchemingMind Forum is a discussion board available for all SM members. There are some generally available forums, every team is also granted an internal forum only for its members.
1. Using the forums
The main SchemingMind Forum page (available from the main menu as Community/Forum) displays the list of all forums available for you. For every forum there is a name, short description and some extra info.
Click the forum you would like to visit. You will be shown the list of discussion threads. The list of threads is ordered according to the last activity (so the threads which were recently posted to are presented on top). The threads which do not fill onto the first page can be reached using navigation links on the very bottom (numbers 1, 2, 3, ... below Page 1 of ... label).
Click the thread to see the actual messages. If the thread is long, you will see the most recent part of the discussion, to navigate back use the same page number links in the right-down corner.
To add new message to the existing thread, just scroll below the last message in it, click Add reply to this topic link and write your message. Please, do this only if your message is in fact related to this thread (you are replying to somebody, adding some new info to the existing discussion, etc).
To start the new thread select Start a new topic link. It is available in both windows mentioned above (thread list and thread discussion). Remember about giving a thread good title, it will help others to decide whether to read it, or not.
Currently forum search is not available. Particularly valuable posts often end up as articles on this wiki (which is searchable).
To be notified about new posts on some forum, one must subscribe to it. To achieve this, one should visit the main forum page, and click on the word No in the Monitor column (in the row of the forum one wants to subscribe to). The word will change to Yes. From then on, whenever a new message is posted to that forum, the forum will be flagged with a solid green dot and the whole Community menu will be also marked with such a dot.
Unsubscribing works the same way: click Yes in the Monitor column, it will then again say No and the forum would no longer be monitored.
Posting to forums does not require any subscription, the only purpose of subscribing to a forum is to be notified about new posts.
To remove the notification (the solid green dots), one must click the Mark all posts as read link on the bottom of the individual forum page (or, to mark all forums read, on the bottom of forum list). Unfortunately it is not currently possible to have it done automatically after the messages are read.
1.5. Avatars (poster's images)
Every user can set an avatar - small image displayed sideways his forum posts. See this page for more details.
2. Forum posting tips and tricks
There are a few special clauses, which let one format forum posts, embed game diagrams, hide some text etc (these tips also apply to private messages sent to other members).
2.1. Embedding diagrams
To embed game diagram within the forum post, one must include a FEN line. For example if you write:
- The game below ended in a draw. Could black win it? 8/8/8/4kp2/8/1p2P3/2bK1N2/8 b - - If so, what is the best plan?
the post would contain the pretty diagram. Most chess programs are able to export game positions as FEN lines (if desperate, one can also find the FEN notation in the source of a Scheming Mind game page).
The text embedded within [HINT] tags is initially hidden behind a Hint link. Members reading the post have to click on the word Hint to see the hidden text. For example you can write
- [HINT]The puzzle solution: Nxe6+! fxe6 Rd8#[/HINT]
to hide the puzzle solution.
To quote somebody else, use the [QUOTE] tag.
- [QUOTE]This is an anonymous quotation[/QUOTE]
It is not currently possible to quote and indicate the author of the original post, this feature may be added at a later date.
2.4. Italic, bold, etc
There are simple clauses for bold, italic and underline:
- Example of: [B]bold[/B], [I]italic[/I] and [U]underline[/U].
2.5. Fixed width string
To post text in a fixed with font, use [code][/code] tags.
No special tags are required to convert web site addresses or email addresses to hyperlinks, these will be detected and converted automatically.
2.7. YouTube Videos
Links to videos on YouTube will be converted to embedded videos in the forum; no special tags are neccessary.
2.8. Book discussions
On the Chess Chat forum one can create special threads dedicated to selected chess books (like this one). Such threads are distinguished by the special book icon on the list, also the book cover and basic info about the book are posted on the beginning of the thread.
To create such thread, select the Book Shop item from the Chess menu. Find the book you want to discuss (the books offered by Amazon are present there), and click Discuss this book link. You will get normal message authoring form, write the title and the text, click Submit.
(If you are considering buying one of the books discussed in the forum, please use the links from the thread to reach Amazon; this will ensure that the site benefits from some commission from the sale.)
Polls are special forum threads, where people can not only discuss, but also cast votes (like this one).
Currently only the site administrator is able to create polls, so if you want to create one, send message to Austin.
3. Purpose of selected forums
In most cases the purpose of the forum is self-evident, according to the forum name and description. Below remarks regarding a few forums which deserve additional comment.
3.1. New Chess Variants
New Chess Variants is where we test out all new variants that haven't yet been programmed. To play, read the rules, post your interest, and start a game by embedding a FEN. All the variants on SM started here.
3.2. Mornington crescent
Mornington Crescent is by far one of the hardest games to understand. The first rule is you are not allowed to tell anyone the rules.
The second rule is this: You must be the first to get to Mornington Crescent (following the game parameters)
That's just about all I'm allowed to say on this one...
3.3. Junk Forum
It has become a problem that some members have been filling the "Nothing In Particular" forum with random words and things like that. To discourage people from doing that, and to have a place where junking is allowed, Schemingmind member Dogod created a forum with that purpose in mind, the Junkified Forum: http://junk3.2.forumer.com/