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Old 03-01-2011, 01:08   #6
Eric
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Join Date: Jan 1970
Posts: 25,225
OK, I have done several related changes:

I have set up the state dropdown list so that it is mandatory. I have added Canadian provinces and other US territories and such as well. The two-digit code for the state or territory now displays beside the picture of an ad, in the category indexes.

I have also added an 'Ad Type' drop-down list, which is also mandatory. The four options are: Wanted To Sell (WTS), Wanted To Trade (WTT), Wanted To Sell or Trade (WTST) and Wanted To Buy (WTB). The abbreviation for the ad type now displays beside the state or territory abbreviation, in the category indexes.

I have eliminated the Wanted To Buy Category. It will now be possible to post a WTB ad in any of the other categories. More on why I did this, in a bit. Before, deleting the WTB category, I moved all the ads to the Firearms category. I figured most of them belonged there anyway. I did run into a problem though.

I changed the Ad Type of the WTB listings to 'WTB' before moving them, but then I overwrote their Ad Types inadvertantly, when I changed the Ad Type of all the other listings to 'WTS'. Sorry about that. I'm late and it's tired. I fixed all the ones on the first page of firearms listings, but the rest will need to be edited by their owners, to correct the Ad Type.

You will see that no thumbnail image of any type apprears next to a WTB ad, even if you ad images. The overwhelming majority of such ads will not have images and not having the 'No Thumbnail' image beside every WTB ad will reduce the clutter of 'No Thumbnail' images in the index and it will help the WTB ads stand out a bit.

When you post a WTB ad, you will now use the same form as you would when you are selling something. Just ignore the fields that don't apply to a WTB listing.

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I decided to mix the WTB ads in with everything ele for several reasons: Miost importantly, the WTB category doesn't get as much traffic as the others, so many people would post WTB listings in there anyway. The WTB ads will get more exposure now that everything is merged.

More importantly though, my next mod will be change the category listings so that you can filter listings by state and/or one or more of the Ad Types. This is going to give the buyer a lot of control over how he views the listings. This feature will be up in the next couple of days.

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If you have an existing ad and edit it, you will not be able to ave the changes without setting the State and Ad Type fields, even if you had set the State field when you originally posted the ad. In order to make this work, I had to change the way the program asked for and stored the State data and this orphaned the state value for all pre-existing ads. I am sorry about this, but there is no easy way to get that info copied over from where it was stored before and I have quite a bit on my plate right now.

I urge everyone with existing ads to do a quick edit on their ads. This will make the ads more user-friendly to potential buyers. Also, when I have added the State/Ad Type filters to the category listings, if you don't have these to fields filled in, your ad will not appear when someone uses these filters. Editing an ad only takes a few seconds. The two fields in question are near the bottom of the ad editing form.

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These changes go a long way towards correcting one of the many shortcomings, both of this software and of the classified ad system hosted on the message boards. Other changes that will come will be built on this and other core modifications I am working on now.

I will post more info, when I've progressed further. Eric
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