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Elftown - How does it work

Generally, Elftown should be self-explanatory, but there are some things that may be hard to figure out. First some things that are easy to miss unless you know about them:

You can make your own wiki-page by going to a nonexistent page and edit that.

To the right on a wiki-page you can invite members to it and create a reminder to yourself to update the page later.

You can also send a message to yourself in the future at the bottom of your house.

You can list the moods your friends have and have had by clicking "Moods" to the right.

You can export your diary so that it becomes a blog that not logged in people can read. If you export it, you can press "Add/remove email address" to make the entries be mailed to some of your friends (Or an email-list).

Don't forget to start watching houses or wiki-pages you find interesting!

Your House and your attributes

Every member has their own page, called a house. Everything about the member is shown on this page. This is also the place to update the information about you and to upload images.

Attributes are of one of these classes:

numberThis is a class of attributes like age or height. It is only one number so don't try to write '1 m and 89 cm'. Write '189' instead (If you use inches it will be very confusing, so don't do that.). The numbers cannot have decimals. Choosing zero is the same thing as not choosing.
select oneThis is a class of attributes like gender or body shape. Here you may only choose one of the attributes. You may also choose nothing and look mysterious and lazy.
select manyThese are attributes like interests and what you help Elftown with. You may choose as many alternatives as you see fit. Some alternatives are a little bit strange, like the ones under Elftown work:

Town GuardsThese are people that keep the forums and the rest of Elftown clean from rabble and criminals. You can only choose this attribute if you are appointed by the mayor.
Wiki bossesThese people try to make order in the wiki. They can edit even protected wiki-page.
Building workersBuilding workers create images and propose layout and that kind of thing. It is OK to say that you are a building worker, but then someone may ask you to do something.
InspectorThis is just ordinary members who are interested in testing the new stuff and make sure it works OK and have a perfect use of the English language. If you choose this attribute, you are expected to report errors.
MagiciansThese strange creatures do the programming magic that makes Elftown work. Elftown magicians are appointed by the mayor.
MayorChoose this attribute if you are me. Only I can be me.
OthersTheir names are links to wiki-pages that describe them.
stringThis is a short text like a name. Attributes of text-type can not be of unlimited number of letters, but how many depends. For example, a name can be 45 letters. You are not able to use newlines, but otherwise you can use pseudo HTML.
textThis is a class of attributes that let you type longer texts and your description is of this type. You can generally write it just like normal text, but also a few HTML-things work. Read about pseudo HTML or read the more talky version.
imageThe images are updated separately from the other attributes. You may upload JPEG, GIF and PNG images, but even other formats may work. The image can not be bigger than 500 pixels wide and 1000 pixels height. It must also be less than 1048576 bytes. This should be enough for most images. You may upload animated GIFs, but I don't like it.

Your Notes

If you find an interesting posting, member, or have a search that you often do (search for all online Elfwood artists from USA for example) you can use the Add-this-page-to-your-notes-button that are on those pages.

No-one else knows what you have noted, it is very private. But to see where your bookmark points, you should note what kind of link it is.

Your Mail

In your mail room you can send and receive letters. To send a message just go to a member's house and fill out the form there. You can also reply to one of that member's messages to you. Only the one who sends the mail and the receiver can normally read the mail. But Elftown doesn't guarantee this because sometimes the agents have to read messages to stop misbehaviour or to fix bugs.

When you press the show-button and the letter is shown you see some things besides the message itself. First is the letter number shown. It is not very interesting, but it feels good to know that your letters are numbered and ordered, doesn't it?

Secondly it tells you from whom this message is and then who the receiver is. Then the date the message was sent, in the international format YEAR-MO-DA HO:MI:SE. The time used is UTC. In the summer it is two hours after the Swedish time, Central European Time (CET), and in the winter the same as English time (CET+1 hour). You can see the current time to the right.

Then you see clickable links to the commented message and to messages that are comments to this message (if there are any). This makes it easy to write answers because the receiver always knows what you are talking about even if you send an answer like "Fine!" 7 days later.

Just as in your description you can write clickable URLs and create links to members and so on when you write messages.

Messages are deleted separetely by sender and receiver. Exception: An unread message that is deleted by the sender is deleted for both.

"message", "mail" and "letter" are words for the messages in your private mailbox. "postings" or "posts" or even "texts" are what you write in forums.

Blocked list

If people become too annoying, you can hide their messages with the block-button on top of their house. If you change your mind, the "Blocked list"-link on the top is the place to remove those blocks.

Search for members

You can search for members that live close to you or have some kinds of characteristics. If you leave an alternative to search for blank, you don't exclude anyone. If you choose some or many alternatives for one attribute, you exclude the ones who don't have any of these characteristics. So if you search for people that are male or female, you will not find people who haven't written what gender they are.

Example: If you mark "cats" and "dogs" under "Other interests", you will only find people that are interested in dogs and/or cats. If you have marked the alternative "both" under "Gender", you will only find members that are of both sexes (That can be couples and other multipeople members).

On the number attributes you may search by entering something like this: "17" = only people who have exactly 17 in this attribute, age for example, "-17" = people who have less than 17, "17-" = 17 or greater, "17-27" something between 17 and 27.


In the Elftown forums you can discuss a lot of things. First you have to be a member of a forum. This makes it easier to only read the things you are interested in.

Sometimes the number of unread postings can be lower than the printed value. This is because even deleted postings are counted.

If you click on the Forum-button on top you will be taken to a list of forums. There you can go to (and join) different forums. You can also unjoin forum, read a forum by topic and you can change priority ("prio") for the forum. Forums with low priority numbers are shown before and read before forums with higher priority. Unjoined forums are shown last in the forumlist regardless of priority.

If there is at least 1000 difference in the forum-priority, the go-to-next-posting-button will turn into a go-to-next-postings-forum-button and take you to another forum, even if there are unread postings left in the current forum.

Unlike some other webforums, Elftown keeps track of what messages you have read. This may seem confusing at start, but you'll soon find it very nice to be able to easily read all new postings. The key to this is the go-to-next-posting-button.

The go-to-next-posting-button takes you to the next posting that you haven't read. But that may not be the next posting in time. It prefers to view a posting that is a comment to the posting you are reading now. If there is no such posting it will take you to the oldest posting in the forum. If that don't exist either, it will take you to the next forum where you have an unread posting.

If there are no unread postings it will turn into a there-are-no-postings-button. The there-are-no-postings-button will turn into a go-to-next-posting-button when there are unread postings again so you can keep pushing that button if you are waiting for a posting to come.

This is all that you need, but sometimes humans make mistakes like not remembering all what they have read. Therefor you can reread the last postings in a forum. Don't be afraid to reread a lot of postings because you can always hit the mark-all-postings-as-read-button when you have found the posting.

If you go even further down the page you have a list of postings starting with the first message that you haven't read. Postings that you have read are marked with an R. Postings with a comment to them are marked with C. This list will give you a hint of what there is to read, but normally the go-to-next-message-button is the way to go.

Then you have a form to write a completely new posting. This is different from commenting a posting.

And finally, you have a add-this-page-to-your-notes-button. Use this if you want to answer a posting later.

When you write postings the text is shown just as in your description so you may write URLs and they become links.

To make it easier to read the forum, there are some tricks you can do. First you can press the button Mark all comments as read. That will mark every comment and their comments and so on, as read, so that you don't have to read them. However, only the postings in this forum will be marked as read. And if the thread moves to another forum and then comes back, the postings in the comeback-thread will not be marked as read (it is probably a new subject this time...). It will follow comments to deleted postings in the tree though.

If you come into a huge thread and don't care if you miss all the the messages, you can press the button Mark all subject-alike postings in this thread as read. This will mark all messages in this thread-tree as read, even if they change forum and then come back or have deleted postings in the chain. Note: If another thread is started with the same subject, you will not skip it!

If you come into a huge thread and don't care if you miss some new comments that may be on a changed subject, you can press the button Mark all postings in this thread as read. This will mark all messages in this thread-tree in this forum as read, even if they have different subjects, change forum and then come back or have deleted postings in the chain.

Elftown - When it does not work

Sometimes Elftown malfunctions. This is called a bug. It may be a spelling mistake, maybe a button does the wrong thing or something may look very bad. Try to report things like this in the forum "Elftown, bugs". All bug-reports are appreciated, but try to state exactly where you have done what and what happened and what should have happened.

Bad Example: The logout-button don't work!
Better: I press the logout-button, but then i press back and can see the last page again.
Too good: Logout don't remove the cookies that are necessary to log in. (Never try to solve the problem! Report exactly what happens instead.)
Good: I press the logout button. Then I press back. Then I press view messages. Then the messages are shown, even though I am not logged in. I am using the browser Bogus 6.2 on Superoperatingsystem 7.2.

Web Browsers

Elftown should work perfectly with the latest versions of Mozilla, Opera and MS Internet Explorer. It should work in some way with other browsers, but the Elftown crew's lowest priority is to adjust Elftown to bugs in old browsers. Internet Explorer with version 4.0 and below doesn't work well.

Elftown should work perfectly without javascript enabled. It should be usable without stylesheets, but it may be unusable with an erroneous implementation of stylesheets. Elftown will show PNG-images, but if you can do without the images you should be able to use Elftown anyway. Elftown should be somewhat usable without images.

More help

More help can be found in the wiki. Click here: Help

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