Forum List Table
The icons in the first (far left) field of the Forum List table have the following meanings:
|If you're logged in, this means the forum is active but has no new posts since your last visit. If you're not logged in, it just means the forum is active (the Last Post column tells you the age of the last post).|
|If you're logged in, this means the forum is active and has at least one new post since your last visit. If you're not logged in, this icon will never show.|
|The forum is locked. This means you can't post new messages to the forum, nor can you edit or delete existing posts.|
Forum gives the name of the forum, plus a description of what the forum is for. Please pay particular attention when posting a new topic that you choose the appropriate forum - otherwise your post may well go unread. Besides, it would be misleading. Clicking on the link under the name of the forum takes you to the forum itself. Doing so allows you to read all topics in that forum, post new topics, reply to existing ones, etc.
Topics tells you how many topics are currently listed in the forum. It can help tell you when new topics start up.
Posts tells you how many total posts are currently listed in the forum. It can help tell you when new messages are posted. Each topic has at least one post associated with it, often several, so Posts will always be greater than Topics.
Last Post does three things. First, it tells you when the most-recent post was made. By default this is presented in relative format (e.g. 4 hours ago or Mar 27, 2007). However, you may change the displayed format to absolute (e.g. Mar 27, 2007 7:21 pm) by editing your profile. The second piece of information is who made the most-recent post. Click on the displayed userName to visit the author's profile. Lastly, clicking on takes you to the most recent post in this forum.
There is also a couple of useful links that show up if you're logged in. Clicking on the first - View posts since last visit - lists all posts made by others since your last visit to the board. Clicking on the second - Mark all topics as read - does just that; in effect it logs you off and then on again.
Your current visit becomes your last visit when you log off, or when you Mark all topics as read.
If your session times out, then you'll be automatically logged out. In this case, your last visit time will either not be updated at all, or updated to the time of the last topic read, depending on the Automatic Logouts setting in your profile (see the help page for details). Either way, the result can be confusing, since posts and topics may not be marked read/unread the way you expect them to be. Bottom line: it's better to logout from the bulletin board yourself, than wait for it to log you out.
Bulletin Board Help Page