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Author Topic: Discussion thread: Switch to a better BB Software!  (Read 1995 times)
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Bonn, Germany
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I would like to start a small discussion here.
You know that I and others have occasionally complained about the YaBB Software as well as many having serious trouble using the forum internal search leading to the problem of questions asked several million times. Also one 'problem' of the Software we have here is a lack of modificability. "Modern" BB Softwares normally have the possibility to add certain modifications that would aid the main gist of this Forum. For example a better searchability, integrated wiki and tags on posts are just a few mentionable options.
I dont want to talk here about the Pros and Contras of different softwares as i am personally quite biased due to using one software now for ages and hence having a 'tunnel view' on this matter, so i would rather discuss the Need or unnesseccaryness of switching to another board. I would love to see people, also Admins, to participate into this.
Oh and please, one of the main prerequites should be that the old posts are kept with no loss of information (which should be possible with all major BB softwares anyway).

So, whats your opinion?
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Norway@Oslo
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I think there's definitly some work needed on the topic of BB.

We really need the quote functionality back, as well as the My Center link.
Maybe rid the forum of the YaBB logo.


If it is possible to change software and keep all posts, I am tempted to 'vote' for a switch.

And I may request a database based BB, flatfiles are slow, and hard to search in an efficient matter. Which this forum clearly demonstrates.
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Bangkok
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this forum uses flatfiles?
wow we almost have to keep it for historic reasons smiley

what puzzles me most in this forum:

-the logo links to the developer of the software instead of the forum root. no big deal if you know it, but heaps of people just come by from the searchengines might be confused.

-very hard to find settings. like change the signature takes 5-10 klicks.

-look could be a bit more modern. like the arduino.cc root shows very nicely. arduino is targeted towards artists so we need to please their eye a bit smiley

-some tab with latests posts. it's a bit complicated to check all cats to see whats new.

-thinking of more


i like the vanilla forum very much, cause it's centered around a list of latest updates. also the template looks nice.

http://www.getvanilla.com/


but to have the a single login for wiki and forum it would probably be better to use more of a content management framework. like drupal or expression engine.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2009, 09:32:02 am by bara.munchies » Logged

"The old Europe"
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As usual this is a matter of time.

I've recently posted that I was able to upgrade a YaBB forum (I once ran) to the latest version of YaBB without losing any posts at all. No missing buttons, no missing quote option, no quirks at all. The search function is still <insert favorite excremental extract here> btw. !

Switching to a different BB software is a different matter. There are converters out there (e.g. YaBB to SMF), but who wants to go hunting for missing posts ? The YaBB people will release a beta of version 3 (which supports MySQL btw.) January 2010. I suspect there will be importers/converters that work.

In the meantime I think a _properly installed_ YaBB 2.4 should alleviate some of the most pressing peeves. It can be done, but as usual "backups, backups, backups".

Option 2 would be to start a new forum from scratch and keep the old one up as some sort of archive.

If this site runs on apache2, the subdomain "forum.arduino.cc" could be used to set up a name based virtual host. The old forum could stay untouched.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2009, 09:35:53 am by madworm » Logged

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Norway@Oslo
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Quote
Option 2 would be to start a new forum from scratch and keep the old one up as some sort of archive.

If this site runs on apache2, the subdomain "forum.arduino.cc" could be used to set up a name based virtual host. The old forum could stay untouched.

Actually. I kind of like option 2, but I imagine that most of you don't.


[size=12]@admins: [/size]
Would you concider updating to the latest YaBB?
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Bangkok
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keeping two installs would mean two search fields?

would be probably more practical to webscrape the old forum and migrate to a new mysql based forum.
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"The old Europe"
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Yeah, best...

But what is feasible ?

If I were the admin I wouldn't want to verify the 85k + posts of this forum.

Every single one of them:

- do the links still work ?
- proper dates displayed ?
- proper user name displayed ?
...
...
...

I'd either:

- upgrade YaBB and wait for MySQL support
- start from scratch with a new forum and put a linked google site search to the old forum on there ( "Archive Search" ).

Unless someone is willing to actually do a test conversion to e.g. SMF and spend a few days to verify it all works.
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• Upload doesn't work? Do a loop-back test.
• There's absolutely NO excuse for not having an ISP!
• Your AVR needs a brain surgery? Use the online FUSE calculator.
My projects: RGB LED matrix, RGB LED ring, various ATtiny gadgets...
• Microsoft is not the answer. It is the question, and the answer is NO!

Bonn, Germany
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I'd even volunteer to do this in order to get some newer software with the right modifications... and i dont think i am the only one to volunteer for that...

Also the 'starting from scratch' way would have one small opportunety - much code here, especially libraries from users, ist mostly written for outdated core libs.. my impression is that like 60% to 80% dont work from scratch with newer IDE versions, so you would have a clean start and could add a way of marking code by having a Topic prefix like "v14","v15", "Lilipad" and so on.. to show and especially track the compatibility. If that was directly connected with a forum internal wiki (as PHPBB2 e.g. has) this would lead to a new way of community maintained software.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2009, 11:02:32 am by Nachtwind » Logged

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We recently upgraded years old forum software with hundreds of thousands of post in two steps:
 - First we upgraded the existing software to the highest version that was able to import the old data.
 - Second we used new forum software that was able to import the data from other forum software in our case that had the import ability for our old forum.

We had quite a few issues. The links - we used mod_rewrite with rules in .htaccess that redirected any old links to the new ones correctly with 301 (Moved permanently). Our real concern were the robots not so much the people, as we get over 70% of hits through google and only 10-20% through direct links. Anyway the 301 helped and the robots had to go only once through the old links to change their behaviour.
A lot of problems though - quotations were not exactly ok. Some internal references to other posts had to be fixed by batch scripts. Some old html code was breaking the new forum code. But anyway what we got was far better than what we had before and had a lot of new options - like member map for example.
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Bonn, Germany
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I have updated a few (smaller 10k+ posts) boards in the past. WBB to PHPBB PHPBB to SMF and so on.. normally i had only few issues.. the converters given by most mainstream softwares are quite good.. so converting should be possible.. and even if we loose like say the first few thousand posts - i mean, ok, its a shame, but what should it matter? Be honest, who browses for such an old stuff anyway?
I'd rather vote for a clean restart and having a read only archive of this one and importing just the stuff from like say 1/09 till the upgrading day so the transition would be smooth enough to keep going... also that would keep the effort in checking and rechecking stuff to minimum...
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"I'd rather vote for a clean restart and having a read only archive of this one"

+1.  You won't loose any info.  I really don't care what forum software is used, but the search function on here is god-awful, and that's being kind.

- What's the story with the lack of mods/admins on here?
- The logo?

There is a real sense of lack of caring on someone's part.  The sad thing is there are about 20 people on here willing to take up the cause and run with it.  So the question is - who do we email to get this done?

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Hear hear. It's been said many a time and yet seems to fall on deaf ears. The Arduino Team, please listen to your users. It is time for a change, we want it, we are willing to assist with it so please let it happen.
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"The old Europe"
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SMF seems OK in terms of installation.

It just took me 5 minutes to create a new SQL database with webmin, install SMF and import my retired YaBB 2.4 forum. Message boards were imported OK, user accounts seemed OK too.

There's a small issue with images/files that were uploaded as attachments in YaBB. Some of them were missing. But I think attachments aren't enabled in/on the Arduino form anyway. Links to other websites seemed to work fine. Uploaded files also were not copied to the SMF path and stayed in the YaBB tree, but the links were OK.

I think "we" should just try it ;-)

The YaBB forum lives in a /cgi-bin/..... path + _one_ html folder. SMF is installed just in one html folder and the YaBB stuff is totally untouched by the converter. Put the YaBB forum in maintenance mode, so no more activity (except maybe reading posts) is possible and install SMF to /srv/www/..../htdocs/forum/. This site runs on apache2.2.9, so no problem there. If it doesn't work as desired, just delete it and go back to YaBB.

Oh, and the search function works! Don't forget to create an index in the admin menu though.
And there is a quote button ! !
« Last Edit: June 03, 2009, 06:22:53 am by madworm » Logged

• Upload doesn't work? Do a loop-back test.
• There's absolutely NO excuse for not having an ISP!
• Your AVR needs a brain surgery? Use the online FUSE calculator.
My projects: RGB LED matrix, RGB LED ring, various ATtiny gadgets...
• Microsoft is not the answer. It is the question, and the answer is NO!

Bangkok
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it seems advisable to leave a platform that will 'maybe get mysql' in 2010.
i mean flatfiles did make sense when mysql hosting was expensive. but it's 2009, so come on...
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David Cuartielles is the domain registrant, so he "might" be the one to speak with about changing over to SMF.

SMF is an excellent choice, provided you know how to convert yabb flat files over to SMF mySql.

I've run a yabb to SMF script a couple of years ago and it was a complete mess, but it sounds like there are new solutions available?

We wouldn't want any posts lost because a lot of individuals have donated their time and expertise contributing information intended to be used by new or existing members needing assistance. This gold mine of information is the Arduino projects single biggest asset, and it would undermine the efforts of many if it were treated with indifference.

So losing "a few thousand posts" isn't an option, and a change shouldn't be made unless it can be "absolutely guaranteed" that members contributions won't be lost in the process.

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