Major change coming in our forum software

Discussion in 'Interactive Administrator Threads' started by Brian Scherzer, Jul 15, 2014.


  1. Brian Scherzer

    Brian Scherzer Staff Member

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    There have been a couple of threads asking about what happened to promised features like adding user review software and a software package that would be for business members to advertise on and to be separate from non-business member ads. Here is where we are and what we're doing.

    We are on a very old version of vBulletin (vB) that is no longer being supported by that company. They have had several "upgrades" that make the software more of a social media thing than being ideal for forums. Some of you may remember the significant problems that another large musician's forum had when they "upgraded" to one of the newer versions of vBulletin.....which caused significant downtime. Why? Because, in our view, the versions of vB that came after the one we use are not very good for extremely large forums.

    We have to make a change. To remain on software that isn't being supported opens the door to security problems and limitations to what we can add on to make for a better user experience. In plain language, we need to change to different software or risk serious problems in the future.

    Some of the original developers of vB left that company years ago and they have developed new software called XenForo. We have been looking at this software for a while and TalkBass has already made the move to XenForo. This is an initial announcement to members that we will also be making the move, although it will be a while longer. We know that any change risks upsetting people who want things to remain the same. In our case, not changing software has too many risks. Things will be different, although we will try our hardest to get the look to be as close to what we have now as we can.

    We have not established a timetable yet but, we will be doing some major testing behind the scenes during this Summer and will then install the new software. As many of you know, making a switch in software can cause lots of different problems and we have to be extremely careful to not mess up what we have. That means doing extensive testing before going live and asking lots of "what if" questions. Once we have the new software in place and have at least a month to work out wrinkles, we can begin adding in the things we promised members when we did the banner ads........user review plugin software and software for business emporiums so that business ads are not in the same place as non-business ads. We already had new servers put in place but any additional software really should wait until we have made the switch. Check out TalkBass to see what the software is like. Also, note that at the bottom left of the forum pages on Talk Bass, members can choose the look they prefer. The one that most closely resembles our current color scheme is called "TalkBass Retro".

    I will post more about this as we get closer to an actual change.
     
  2. Mr.Strat

    Mr.Strat Member

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    Xenforo is a great software - very 'pleasing to the eye' browsing.
     
  3. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    This will never work for me. I don't play bass. :puh





    ;)

    Kidding aside, I'm kind of excited because...just at a quick check...it appears you can search on three-letter words!!!!!!!!!

    :band:band:band:band:band
     
  4. Brian Scherzer

    Brian Scherzer Staff Member

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    Someone as ignorant as me about tech things should not promise more than can be delivered. I honestly don't know all of the differences. What I do know is that, after some members got really upset on TalkBass about the change, they began to prefer the XenForo software. The search function on that software can't be worse than what we have on vB! If it allows us to go for 3 letter searches, we'll do it as long as it doesn't crash the servers.
     
  5. Ruraltom

    Ruraltom Member

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    I'm ready for the next big TGP adventure!
     
  6. chrisr777

    chrisr777 Member

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    I'm as out of date as the forum software. Is it going to support XP and IE8?

    Damn, I may actually have to work while I'm at work.
     
  7. CaseyI

    CaseyI Member

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    Just checked out Talkbass. Looks good. Though the ads are a little more intrusive. I imagine you probably have control over that though. I like having them at the header and footer instead of a full column.
     
  8. Brian Scherzer

    Brian Scherzer Staff Member

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    As best I understand, XenForo supports at least what vBulletin supports in the way of browsers. I will probably ask Alec to respond to any tech questions as he can and has time.
     
  9. Mr.Strat

    Mr.Strat Member

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    It is a pretty versatile platform: for whoever is designing the new TGP for us.

    Here is the standard Xenforo forum and what it looks like (using Xenforo software, obviously), and there 'big' list of people using Xenforo that you can click on on and see how others have configured it to look:

    http://xenforo.com/community/threads/the-big-forum-list.26352/

    pretty nice :)
     
  10. Silver

    Silver Member

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    Another forum I frequent migrated from vb to Xenforo and it's pretty good. A little weird on the eyes at first, but that didn't last long. Fairly seamless transition function/user wise, and seems there's the potential for cool new features too - Alerts if you've been quoted in a thread, alerting specific members in a post with '@' (hey @Mr.Strat, hows that '54 doin' ye? ;) , etc...). Good stuff!
     
  11. Kitten Cannon

    Kitten Cannon Member

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    I'M ON AN INTERNET!
  12. DWB1960

    DWB1960 Senior Member

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    As long as TGP doesn't go the cloud route! A lot of my work stuff with customers is being done via clouds and it's not been the best experience at times to say the least.
     
  13. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    OS doesn't matter as much as browser. If you're on a reasonably modern browser, you'll be fine. If your company doesn't have a plan to get off XP, you might have other concerns about computing stability.

    I think that header/footer banners are where we're comfortable. We're not looking to make TGP look like a NASCAR driver's chest. We might add a right hand column ad for unregistered users but that won't affect anyone who's logged in.
     
  14. I-IV-V

    I-IV-V Member

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    Fine with me as long as we don't get an announcement that you're closing it down for good.
     
  15. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    We just upgraded hardware last December. I won't say it'll never happen but we're not likely to move off our current hardware anytime soon.
     
  16. DWB1960

    DWB1960 Senior Member

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    Eventually the cloud thing will mature but it's just not there now IMO.
     
  17. claudel

    claudel Member

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    TalkBass is fine by me after the switch.

    Took me a few days to figure things out but it wasn't that traumatic..
     
  18. schmidlin

    schmidlin Member

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    I don't see the "skin change" on the bottom-left of TalkBass?
     
  19. Brian Scherzer

    Brian Scherzer Staff Member

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    You might have to be a member and be signed in to see it. It is all the way at the bottom of pages on a bluish/purplish bar. All the way to the right on that bar you can see "Contact Us" etc.
     
  20. CyberFerret

    CyberFerret Member

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    Alec and the TGP tech crew will choose the best infrastructure based on their need and cost etc. But at the end of the day, even 'cloud' servers sit on physical hardware *somewhere*. It is just the technology that 'wraps' these servers is different.

    We use cloud hosting infrastructure for nearly all our online services, and appreciate the fact that we can scale things up or down within minutes, and do very transparently so that our users are not aware of it. Yes there is a slight performance hit when compared to running on 'real boxes' but for our needs, the cost/performance benefit is in favour of virtual servers in the cloud.

    And because we are a tiny company, we also appreciate the minimal systems administration that goes with a cloud hosted infrastructure. I personally love not having to worry about installing patches and checking firewalls etc. as that is all taken care of on a whole other level.

    Anyhow - I won't derail this thread any longer. I appreciate the fact that TGP is looking to improve and keep up with the times. Not all change is bad. :)
     

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