Slashdot has refined its superb message board server software over the past 14 years, and (of course) it's opensource: Slash
I don't know why Bloggingheads felt it had to reinvent the wheel, but it's now saddled with a hideously clunky forum.
1. It's often extremely inconvenient to be unable to view more than one message at a time.
2. A separate scrollable window for thread titles fails GUI 101. Sometimes I want to scroll the message and accidentally scroll the threads, sometimes vice-versa. Moreover the thread window has almost 0 utility because
3. Users hardly ever define titles for their messages. The result is that a typical thread has a 150 messages all with the exactly the same title. This, for a change, is easily correctable: On the message composition page, move the title entry field below the text style tools. Because everyone assumes fields above
the tools aren't editable.
4. Another easy fix: Move the "Next" (message) button to under the message, because that's where your eye will be when you want to click it. The "Next Thread" button should be moved out of the way, since you almost never want to click it. If there are 100 messages in a thread you're more likely to click the "Next" (message) button 100 times before wanting to click "Next Thread". Anyway, does anyone actually use the "Next Thread" button? There isn't even any indication of where it takes you.
I feel better.