You now login with your screen name from UBB. Otherwise, logging in works just like UBB. There is the same "Remember Me?" checkbox to keep your login persistent.
The timeout is shorter than UBB, however. So if you may want to start using the "Remember me" checkbox if you have not already.
In UBB, this was sometimes called "Main Index."
This will also look very familiar to you. A list of forums, with the last
post listed, and an icon on the left to indicate if there are unread posts.
One new thing is that the unread posts icon is a link, too. You can mark the forum as read by clicking on it.
To change the skin or style, select the option from the User Control Panel (see below). If you like the old school 2+2 look, select the Infopop style.
Forum Thread List
Once you click into a forum, you will see the list of threads. Again, very similar to UBB, but with some nice wrinkles.
The icons to the left of the threads are more informative. Specifically for finding new posts:
orange open envelopes mean there are new posts
blue closed envelopes have nothing new
In addition to locked, and updated, there is also an icon to indicate that you have posted replies. If you mouse over that replied-to icon, you will see how many replies you made, and the date of your last reply. This image illustrates the mouse over:
Also available from the thread list is a first post preview. There is a [+] icon to the left of the thread subject. If you click that icon, you will see a preview of the first post of the thread in the list of threads. The icon will change to a [-] and enable a close of the preview. This way when you see an unhelful subject like "Quick Question" you can see what that question is without having to load the whole thread. The function is illustrated here.
Jump to first new post is something that you used to get with UBB. vB wants to show the top post, but there is a shortcut icon from the thread list that looks like this . So just use that icon rather than the Subject link itself, and you will always get the most recent post.
An optional feature of the thread list is thread status color highlighting. Each listing will have a different background color depending on its nature, such as locked, new, replied to by you. You edit that option under the User Control Panel, or the link, "My 2+2 -> Edit Options".
Also, people are asking about an equivalent to the old index link at the bottom of threads. Scroll a little farther down past the Quick Reply form. You will see a Forum Jump drop down list, and a "Go" button next to it. The list defaults to the current forum, so hitting Go is like the old Index link.
The search function is available as a form on every page, so you can simply put in your search words and go. By default this quick form searches both Subject and Body of posts.
But there is one option to search threads or posts. This is a true option replacing the need to use "-re:" when searching subjects. It collapses the results all found in one thread. If you want to see multiple hits for one thread, use the "search posts" radio button.
Search always assumes you are looking for all terms. If you use "quick question" it will look for posts with both words. No need to use the + sign, and in fact it will break the search. Same goes for the minus sign, -, attempting to remove terms from search, which will also not work.
In UBB, search found partial words. vB does not. So a search for strip in subject gets you results with strip in the subject but not stripper or stripes.
There is a throttle on searches, so you will have to wait some time before trying a new search.
Use your sensory input, feel the 2+2 love.
One thing to note is that the poster's name now links to a full menu of options, allowing you to view all their posts or PM them without first going to their profile.
In the body of a post, censored words are no longer replaced by [censored]. Instead, the censored word is replaced by asterisks. This will happen for portions of words, too, like ****stick, ****bird, and mother****in' snakes on this mother****in' plane.
More new stuff is in replies. There is no longer a "Reply" button for each post. Use the "Quote" button instead. There is a "Quick Reply" button, the icon looks like a quill and paper. It is on the far right.
Quoting now includes a reference to the Poster, as well as the post number. The syntax is [quote=Poster;xxx] where x is the post number. The plain old quote tag is still available, but the default uses that syntax, making for nice links to the Poster and the quoted post.
The post and reply form allows the use of a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor. That allows you to highlight test and then choose an icon to make it bold, italicized, etc. You can turn indenting on and off, start and stop bullet lists, etc., all with icons.
If you do not want the WYSIWYG editor, you can change this as an Option in the User Control Panel.
One nice thing is no mater what editor you use, the Ctrl-B and Ctrl-I keystrokes will mark text as bold or italizized, respectively.
Hyperlinks in the WYSIWYG editor may be a little tricky the first time you do it. If you use the icon, you will get a prompt for the link URL, just like now, but no prompt for the link text. Instead it just drops that URL as linked text into the WYSIWYG area. You can then edit the link text to replace the URL with more friendly text. Alternately, just highlight some existing text in the WYSIWYG area, then choose the link button. After you type the URL into the prompt, your highlighted text is now a link.
As long as we are talking posts, know that there are new code options.
First of all the code tag gives you real fixed width font now, not just a separator for the area. So you can finally post tabular data neatly.
Not everything listed there will be available, notably font and size. But it gives you an idea.
There are also some added BBCode not standard to vB but available on 2+2
spoil is a cool one that produces text formatted to be invisible, with a surrounding link to reveal the text sup does a superscript sub does a subscript
Polls do seem to be an area where we lose some functionality. Polls are no longer possible in the middle of thread. In addition, you can only create one poll at the top of a thread, so no multi question polls. Yes, that sucks.
But the bar graph is now multi-color, and you can see how you voted because your choice is italicized. Whee!
To create a poll you need to start a new thread. Under the post text area, there is a section called "Additional Options". When starting a new thread, there will be an option there labeled "Post a Poll" with a checkbox and a dropdown to select the number of options your poll will include.
If you check that box, after you post the thread, there will be a new form to create your poll, including options like when it ends, etc.
User Control Panel
The User Control Panel replaces My Home. It is where you edit your profile,
options, and get your PMs.
There is a quick link called My 2+2 that you can use to get to the Control Panel, or sub-options. It looks like this expanded:
The Edit Option page controls your 2+2 browsing experience, including
number of posts per page, viewing avatars, stylesheet selection, and thread status colors. This is also where you can turn off the WYSIWYG editor.
The Edit Profile page includes personal info like birthday, home page, location, email and password.
There is a Edit Avatar link unto itself for that function, which will now be uploaded and hosted on 2+2. With that hosting comes a size limitation of 150kB for avatars.
PMs are enhanced in at least these ways:
You will have the ability to create folders and organize your PMs in thoes folders.
You can include multiple recipients on a PM, making a virtual private thread.
There is a built-in link to download all PMs. Find the text "Download all Private Messages as" at the bottom of the PM page, and you will see three links for various formats. The PMs are all combined into one file, but this is a quick way to back up PMs.
(NEVER MIND, apparently don't use this anymore) The search function now thinks that -re: is not long enough to be used as a search term.
You can use -"re:" instead and it will accept it (you add the quotation marks).
You're gonna get a lot of people bitching at you (including me sooner or later), but thanks for going out of your way to school our ignorant asses.
I don't think I would take anything personally. As it happens, I agree that losing things like multiple-question polls, and "show all" links for threads is bad.
When people ask where is it, the answer is a simple "not here", with maybe a reason for why, but no real need to defend it.