Forum Downtime - software update scheduled April 23/24

Janet H

Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
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We are on track to convert the forum to new software. It has been many years since we've had a platform update, and it's finally time.

To do this we'll need to close the forum. This is scheduled for April 23/24 beginning very early in the morning (subject to change if there are complications). The forum will be back online Thursday April 25th (exact time unknown)

There will be some noticeable changes upon returning to open:

The Forum is moving to Xenforo software and all the usual controls will be available, but buttons and functions will be moved around a bit.

  • Your login will remain unchanged, but you will be able to log in with either email/password or display name / password
  • The forum colors and header image will be updated (see draft below)
  • Image storage and avatar size will be increased.
  • PM inbox storage will be increased
  • Responsive for mobile use: There is no mobile app needed. XenForo has a mobile view that is entirely responsive to device size. Use a browser to open the site and you'll have a good view. You can even set an app-like icon on your phone (really a bookmark)
  • New functions: many, but notably the ability to "like" a post and send an alert by posting @username to get someone's attention.
  • The new like function will replace the thanks function and if you want to send a PM, you still can, although you'll need to initiate that action manually.
  • Image handling will be improved. You can still upload images in the usual way but will also be able to simply paste directly into a post.
  • PMs will be labeled as "conversations"; same function new title and tada: images can be added to messages.
  • There will be an updated and improved table editor
  • New Albums to hold images in your profile if desired
  • New OP badge to denote the Original Poster (thread starter) of a thread - handy for long topics)
  • FIRECalc will remain unchanged

Be patient after the site opens, it takes a little time to get settings dialed in, but we will bring the site back online as soon as possible (even while adjustments are still being made).

ER_post.jpg
 
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fwiw, the Xenforo sample I've seen elsewhere requires lots more scrolling to view content, such as to move from one post to the next, due to excess blank space between posts, it's probably an unfortunate style sheets thing
 
fwiw, the Xenforo sample I've seen elsewhere requires lots more scrolling to view content, such as to move from one post to the next, due to excess blank space between posts, it's probably an unfortunate style sheets thing

The style is a little more open, but mobile views need this. It's a balancing act.
 
Thank you! Looking forward to the upgrade!

I'm curious. Will advertising space increase?


Did you want to buy some advertising?? The site team could use some fresh donuts and new supply of dryer sheets, they have been reduced to cutting them into chicklet sizes pieces. :angel:

Ads will be about the same. For folks not logged in there will be more.
 
Thank you for the work going into this!
 
Sounds good. I'm on a few different forums and they all seem to have their good and not-so-good points, UI-wise.

Specifically:

...

[*]Image storage and avatar size will be increased.
[*]PM inbox storage will be increased
.
Sounds good.


[*]New functions: many, but notably the ability to "like" a post and send an alert by posting @username to get someone's attention.

Very handy - thanks!

[*]The new like function will replace the thanks function and if you want to send a PM, you still can, although you'll need to initiate that action manually.

Makes sense, the 'Thanks' was pretty limited. The 'like' feature works really well on a technical forum I visit, because it really means "I appreciate the effort and thought you put into this post, it was enlightening', rather than a 'popularity' count. Here, and especially on one of those never-ending subjects (mortgage pay-off, when to take SS, etc), it can end up being just a count of who agrees with who(m?), rather than anything of value. But the good can outweigh any negatives, we will see.

[*]Image handling will be improved. You can still upload images in the usual way but will also be able to simply paste directly into a post.

Oh, that's nice! Yep, a real 1st world problem, but it's always so awkward to jump through the hoops to post an image. A direct paste will seem so much more fluid.

[*]There will be an updated and improved table editor

Nice, the current one is a bit of a pain to use, I rarely do.


[*]New OP badge to denote the Original Poster (thread starter) of a thread - handy for long topics)

YES!!!! It really makes a difference to know when the OP is replying vs a follow up.


Be patient after the site opens,...

I promise! :) Looking forward to it, thanks for the updates.

-ERD50
 
The style is a little more open, but mobile views need this. It's a balancing act.

Style sheet excesses are notorious for causing readability and accessibility issues. At present, this board avoids those problems quite well, no doubt thanks to smart fine tuning by the staff. Having dealt with site design issues myself, I recommend boia.org which nicely summarizes the topic, and can perform a free site audit that scans for problems.
 
Best of luck with the upgrade and many thanks for all the mods do for the forum and its members!!!
 
Thank you SO MUCH, Janet, mods, admins and all, for giving us this "heads up" about the software upgrade.

I am one of those older (ancient? :LOL: ) people who have an unreasonably difficult time adjusting to even minor software changes, and major ones like this can seem staggering to me at first. This is age related, for me. But I know in the long run these changes will be good! The "heads up" that you are giving us encourages me to allot some time to getting used to the new software and to work on this with lots of patience and as good an attitude as I can.

Thanks again! :flowers:
 
...who agrees with who(m?)...

"Whom" is correct. It is the objective case. "Who" is the subjective case. The easy way I remember is to substitute he and him. Where one would write "he" use "who"; where one would write "him" use "whom".
 
...

I am one of those older (ancient? :LOL: ) people who have an unreasonably difficult time adjusting to even minor software changes, and major ones like this can seem staggering to me at first....


No worries - you are in good company. I'm right there with you.
 
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New features look good, thanks! I am looking forward to the update.

It is also incentive for me to focus on my home/yard spring cleaning tasks during this time, no "lets see what is going on at the site" excuses :).
 
Thanks for the info!

This will be like Apollo 13 when it went behind the moon without contact with NASA for a while. Like then, we'll be without forum contact for a while, wondering what things will be like when contact is regained.
 
Thanks to all Mods for the work you do. Regarding the temporary shutdown, what will I do for 2 days??
 
Thanks to all Mods for the work you do. Regarding the temporary shutdown, what will I do for 2 days??

Cut my grass
Clean my closet out
Write my xmas cards for the past 7 years....


Let me know when you'd like to get started :LOL:
 
Thank you for all the work. Change is good, keeps you on your toes.
 
I use an RSS feed to keep an eye on new threads from the current forum. Does anyone know whether I will be able to continue that with the new system?
 
Probably not. As I gather it, the whole site will be down for those two days. The folks behind the green curtain (think Wizard of Oz) will be working some very long days to get it back up but not much will show on the outside.
 
Walt - if you were replying to my question, I am interested only in whether the new site will support RSS when it is up and running.
 
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