Someone de-iced me at the wrong time? o_O
I don't know what it takes to run a forum. I imagine it's a complex task, and the admin(s) sure have my respect for their continued effort and success.
And once in a while a facelift is in order, alright... but this now doesn't look like a forum to me.
Don't take offense, I'm expressing my honest opinion (if you want it, else I'll shut up).
To me this looks too much social-oriented. We have social websites already, let a forum be a forum and focus on what it's best at, I say.
I especially dislike all the... squareness? Sorry, I don't know the best word for it, but elements of this new layout strongly recall Windows 8's metro interface. I absolutely cannot stand win8's rectangular flat shaded shapes.
They are an eyesore.
Decades of conquests and advancements in making the Windows GUI pretty with ever increasing detail and colors... and all was trashed with Windows 8 and its flat-shaded flatness.
Will Windows 9 be monochrome white or look like an LCD type display? What use are colors and high resolutions if you can impose square shapes and monochromy, right?
I have a romantic view of forums. Colorful, but not garish (background images are fine if they add to the mood). With lots of icons, but none too big or distracting. And with the list of topics organized in cascade, and the few important infos per-topic relayed on the frontend (number of posts and views, topic starter, last poster, are there links, images, other documents attached, did a moderator or the admin reply in it...).
With that format I know where to go and what I want to read, in seconds.
Now this is all very whitey and spacey, and no list of topics is readily discernable. Much less the info I look at the most when picking a read.
But I do like the generic avatars. Letters are a nice idea, although I wish I could choose my N's background and foreground colors as well as the font. I can always draw my avatar, but what about those without the means or skills?
Oh and, the overall font in use has excellent readability, definitely a boon.
But I've looked at some of my past posts and I see bits of text substituted with an \ character (?). I'm pretty sure there were hyperlinks in there.
And in some case I see hyperlinks in odd places where I'm positive there weren't any.
These glitches must be cured. To have old posts altered like that casts a bad shadow on the forum. Forums are all about text and links. If those aren't preserved, devmaster becomes a joke. Can you imagine that?
Best of luck in any event.