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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...
Old 04-28-2005, 07:19 PM   #41
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...

Some random observations and some feature observations based on earlier posts:

Both of my tested options have polls, but neither has the ignore user feature. I can't find ignore mods for either so far.

I expect either to handle large volumes of posts easily, and both are more responsive than the current software. (No more watching each message fill in one by one.)

I notice they each have a different meaning for "new messages". More on this later. But both have a "new" button that takes you straight to the first new message in a thread.

If Dory36 moves to a Linux host like he says, user names will become case sensitive so I have to log in as "BigMoneyJim" and not "bigmoneyjim". (Passwords are already case sensitive.) This goes for either software.

Both boards have the following quirk: I registered users in the original test board with spaces, but the board put underlines in them: "User 1" became "User_1", but in the original I could log in using a space. In both new boards I have to log in using the underline: "User_1".

Avatars will probably have to be reassigned after moving to the new board.

Board comparison:

YaBB 1 Gold SP 1.1, the current software for this board. My mockup is here (test board deleted Sept 30 2005).
  • We're already using it, so everyone knows it
  • No migration necessary
  • Doesn't have polls
  • Becoming glitchy and slow as post count increases and user list grows
  • See above comments for how both following boards improve on this one
SMF is a rebuilt and improved version of this software. My test board with migrated data is here (test board deleted Sept 30 2005).
  • "New" posts are any that the user hasn't read, like this board.
  • Takes migrated data well
  • Familiar look and behavior
  • Has an available module to list the last X new posts, but defined by site not user
  • Tech note: appears to work only with MySQL
  • Link to feature list
phpBB is what nofeeboards and raddr-pages use. My test board with migrated data is here (test board deleted Sept 30 2005).
  • "New" messages are posts that have been posted since user's last visit. So if you don't read everything and come back later you could lose track of what you haven't read.
  • Doesn't handle the migrated data as well, including the need to reset passwords on my attempt so far
  • Apparently the most popular board software today
  • Has a button to list all new posts since last visit
  • Unfortunately, if you spend a long time reading through new posts your visit may time out and "new" posts are only the ones in the past 15 or so minutes
  • Tech note: can use one of several database backends (including MySQL which seems to be the popular choice)
  • Link to feature list

Tech note: Both SMF and phpBB are PHP-based.

Random note: both boards can be under whatever URL path you want: early-retirement.org/forum, early-retirement.org/community, early-retirement.org/kayaks, early-retirement.org/rabbits/with/pancake/on/its/head, etc..

vBulletin costs money, so I didn't check it out. I'm not aware of other "biggie" board software that is similar to the format here.

I like the SMF one for several reasons. The "new" post thing is one of the biggies to me.

EDIT: Edited a few times between posting and :52 past the hour .

EDIT Sept 30 2005: Removed links to test boards. This forum was migrated to SMF on April 30, 2005.
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...
Old 04-28-2005, 07:38 PM   #42
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...

I've seen an ignore feature for phpbb. Of course, its not that much of a big thing for me anymore as I've only wanted to ignore one person in my entire on-line life and said dimwit is no longer among us.

I hadnt noticed the problem with new posts with raddrs board and nofeeboards, but I didnt use either very much.
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...
Old 04-29-2005, 04:51 AM   #43
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...

This is looking good. I agree that the SMF looks easiest and best for all of us.

If we change the structure to new headings, I assume we'll want to keep a read-only copy of this forum available to everyone. If we keep the current structure, then I assume we will populate the new software with the current content and keep going.

BMJ, which seems most feasible? Which would minimize downtime? (I sent you a PM with access info to a new server account where we can set it up for production, and I will move a snapshot of the current forum files over the next hour or so.)
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...
Old 04-29-2005, 06:02 AM   #44
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...

How about a FOR SALE/SWAP section? You know an RV for that old boat?
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...
Old 04-29-2005, 03:08 PM   #45
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...

For those following this thread -- BMJ successfully moved all the messages, passwords, and avatars to a new server using the new software, and it is MUCH faster than this software.

We'll make a switch soon -- just need to figure out when the least disrupting time will be to be "off the air" for up to half a day. I'm imagining th going through withdrawal...
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...
Old 04-29-2005, 04:28 PM   #46
 
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...

Quote:
For those following this thread -- BMJ successfully moved all the messages, passwords, and avatars to a new server using the new software, and it is MUCH faster than this software.

We'll make a switch soon -- just need to figure out when the least disrupting time will be to be "off the air" for up to half a day. *I'm imagining th going through withdrawal...
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...
Old 04-29-2005, 04:39 PM   #47
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...

Quote:
-- just need to figure out when the least disrupting time will be to be "off the air" for up to half a day. I'm imagining th going through withdrawal...
th? What about JG...that much deprivation might turn him into a (dare I say it) liberal. :

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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...
Old 04-29-2005, 05:22 PM   #48
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...

Thank you, thank you. 8)

The 'hard' parts went very smoothly.

At first only linked avatars (like on photobucket) worked, but then I was able to copy the builtin avatars from here so everyone's avatars will be intact. That's the important stuff. And there are new builtin avatars available, but I'll let those be a surprise.

PMs (or IMs, whatever they're called) transferred fine, but the "outbox" is cleared so you won't have a copy of your sent PMs on the new board.

And what I said about case sensitive usernames isn't true after all. I logged in as "bigmoneyjim" (case mismatched) just fine.

After a bit of testing and twiddling I decided to set up a copy of this board on the new server alongside the new forum. I didn't really expect a problem doing so, but so far it's not working! That may take away the option of leaving the old board running on the new server, but I haven't given up yet--I'm just taking a break to get my mind on something else for a while.

As far as cutting over my first plan in my mind is this (if we're moving the data):
  • Make this site read-only and put up notice
  • Copy the board to the new server
  • Re-migrate data so new board is up to date
  • Quick tests and checks
  • Point early-retirement.org at the new server
Actually we might make the name change first because it usually takes a while to happen. And based on what's decided about the old board we'll either leave a read-only copy at the new server or have a link to the new URL.

If all goes well the above actions should take less than an hour unless the upload speed for the board data is slow. The long wait will be the name changing over. And of course there are always unforseen problems. Realisticly the board will probably be read-only and/or inoperative for up to half a day.

Whether or not we move the data to the new board it could be nice to have the old board in place as read-only because there are links to messages in the messages and on other sites that would quit working otherwise. Alternatively I had an idea about a small script that would cross-reference the link to the correct post on the new board software; I think it's possible but I haven't looked into it yet.

It would be possible to leave the old board running as read only on a different server, but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense because the links still break.

If the consensus is to start anew the cutover could go something like this:
  • Make this site read-only and put up notice
  • Copy user data to new board (assuming new users since last migration)
  • Re-migrate
  • Delete all messages and boards from the new server
  • Create new boards
  • Point early-retirement.org to the new server
The read-only copy would probably be set up on the new server, too, depending on what's decided. This option might actually take a little longer because I'll either have to fool the converter into not remigrating the messages or delete the messages afterward. Not much longer, though. Still given the name change time probably up to a half a day.
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...
Old 04-29-2005, 05:25 PM   #49
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...

If we want to migrate data and rearrange things it may be possible to hide old boards in the main index instead of deleting them.

I'll look into it and report later.

If we're interested in having the old data around at all--and I think we are--it's so much faster and nicer to have it on the new board.
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...
Old 04-29-2005, 05:46 PM   #50
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...

BMG, you rock, you deserve an honorary title for this!

I agree it would be faster and nicer to have the old data on the new board. I for one have not finished reading all the old threads!
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...
Old 04-29-2005, 09:41 PM   #51
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...

Status update: I couldn't quite get the old board running on the new server. (The new board with the converted data is still running fantastic, of course.) I sorta did, but not really. There may be two problems conspiring against me at the same time.

But I think I now have the information I need to make a script that will accept a url for this board and redirect to the proper thread and page on the new board, even if the threads and boards get moved around on the new board. This means I think I make make old links adapt to the new board.

Techie explanation: The new forum only needs the topic number and optionally a starting post number to read a topic/thread, so all I have to to is cross-reference this board's "?...num=1114378782;start=45" from the url to the "?topic=2649.45" on the new url. I had to modify the migration program to save that cross-reference table for me. Now I need to write a script using that info.
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...
Old 04-30-2005, 02:36 AM   #52
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...

Sounds to me like if we just hook the doohickey to the
whatchamacallit and then get the thingamajig up and running we can sail on fueled only by methane gas,
pomposity and pancake bunnies.

JG
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...
Old 04-30-2005, 09:30 AM   #53
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Re: Looks like this Forum's Index is screwed up...

Quote:
Sounds to me like if we just hook the doohickey to the
whatchamacallit and then get the thingamajig up and running we can sail on fueled only by methane gas,
pomposity and pancake bunnies.

JG
Damn, why didn't I think of that? And you said you don't know this stuff!

By the way, Dory36, on the plan we discussed in email there's no tech/admin problem with moving the forum first and then changing boards around if we don't know what the new boards will be yet. But if we do know the new board structure it would make sense to do it while the DNS is switching over.
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