Tag Archives: Q2A

Mods/plugins for Question2Answer

Alternate voting buttons for Question2Answer

Here is an alternate style of voting buttons for popular open source Q&A platform Question2Answer. The default setup is fine – besides the bad image quality – but this setup gives the voting a little more focus.

Q2A voting styles Default Q2A style on left; my arrangement on right.

Because the buttons are split up, implementing this requires some changes to an advanced theme.

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Better icons for Question2Answer

Question2Answer is a popular open source platform for building Q&A sites. It’s a great piece of software but the default theme leaves something to be desired. In particular, the icons used in various places around the site aren’t the best, so I made some changes to the voting arrows and best answer stars. Problems with the default setup:

  • The voting buttons are poor quality: they have fixed transparency due to the GIF format and look “scratchy” around the edges.
  • The images are spread across 3 files – vote-buttons.gifselect-star.png and selected-star.png – which means multiple HTTP requests.
  • The best answer stars have solid colour backgrounds, not transparent – if you don’t have a white background in your theme or blue background for the best answer then a square shows through.
  • Two of the stars are almost identical so no need for separate images.

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Markdown editor plugin for Question2Answer

Question2Answer is a popular open source platform for building Q&A sites. Version 1.3, released last November, introduced a plugin feature to allow for further extending Question2Answer without editing core functionality. Since then I have – very slowly – been working on a Markdown editor plugin for better formatting of posts. Q2A actually comes with a WYSIWYG editor, however Markdown has several advantages:

  • It’s a simple markup format that is readable as plain text.
  • It uses a standard textarea and is therefore compatible with more browsers, including mobile devices and browsers without Javascript support.
  • It defines a neat set of allowable elements, including code, block quotes, lists, links and images.
  • Markdown intrinsically creates much better HTML code. If you have ever seen the HTML output of CKeditor or TinyMCE, you’ll know how plain terrible they are with even simple formatting.

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