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Scouting Forums

Adding the contents of the change log to the Scoutbook front page

Not that many users frequent the forums, and there are changes to the system that they should be made aware of. Recommend that the change log be posted directly in Scoutbook with a notification for when it has been updated.


I think this would be a great use of the periodic dismissable “yellow” notices that appear on login to Scoutbook.

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I would love to do see this info

I will add an item to the backlog to put a link to the change log forum category on the Scoutbook main page. I cannot predict if or when the BSA will schedule it for development.

The content of the notices is editable – they always put in “Hey, Scoutbook will be down on Feb 9 at 10 CST” or something similar. Should be* trivial to say “Scoutbook will be down on Feb 9 at 10 CST, check http… for details of the changes”.

* that is, “Dilbert”-easy…

I was thinking the yellow dismissable ones, so that:

  1. Once someone reads it, they don’t get it every time they log in.

  2. The developers don’t have to commit to what changes will actually get pushed before they have already pushed them in case something breaks badly when pushed and has to be withdrawn/hidden.

Then, the notice that there’s a new changelog goes up after the updates happen, with a link to the changelog in discussions.scouting. Maybe it will draw more traffic to the discussion groups. Not that we’re exactly slow now. :slightly_smiling_face:

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We do not announce changes until Scoutbook is updated and a test is done to make sure Scoutbook is operation again. The red maintenance banner is removed once the update is completed.

The yellow banner wold have to be a new banner every week. I know users that would get annoyed having to dismiss it each week.

I typically post the change log within an hour of the update completing. If you see a banner for maintenance, and you care about what changes were released, you should check the change log later in the day.

By placing a link to the Change Log on the main page, you can get to the most recent change log in 2 (Change Log, Latest Topic) clicks instead of 4 (Forums, Categories, Change Log, Latest Topic)


Can the blog link be removed from Scoutbook if that is no longer used to records these types of changes? It makes it look like development stopped in April 2019.

The announcement should only appear after the changes have been made. You don’t want to announce something that hasn’t been tested and implemented.

Also, the change log should be part of the Scoutbook.com domain, and shouldn’t be kept on a completely separate website (which this is). There are several types of users, and I would guess that very, very few even know that these forums exist. I shouldn’t have to go to another site to learn that changes were made, nor should I need to subscribe to a thread to learn them. Our users are of the casual type, in that they only go into Scoutbook when needed. Let them have the information right there. Put a banner up that says change # whatever has been implemented, see the change log for details. And put that change log as a direct link on the homepage.

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We have added an item in the backlog to add a link to the change logs to www.scoutbook.com/mobile. The way Scoutbook is architected, putting a list directly on scoutbook.com would require developer intervention and downtime to Scoutbook. I doubt users would be happy with 2 outages every time Scoutbook is updated, one to push the updates and one to push the change log after the updates are proven successful.

When the Change Log was part of the legacy forum, it had to be posted by the development team. This sometimes took days after the change was released to be posted. Now that it is in the new forums, I release the change log. Typically I have it released within an hour of the update being completed. If I’m away from my desk when the update is completed, it may take me a little longer to get the change log posted but this is usually rare.


The only good screen real-estate seems to be at the login page. Instead of a dismissmable box, perhaps a line of text just above the copyright line: “Latest software updates announced <date, time> on Forums > Scouting App Change Log.”

It seems like the “Legacy forums” and “Blog” link could be removed and maybe replaced with “Forums > Scouting App Change Log as of <date, time>.”

That way folks don’t have to actively dismiss it, but it’s there even before logging in. A product with active updates is a selling point for non-users. So, having the word “Update” as forward-facing as possible sounds like a good strategy.

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