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Topic: Forum software open discussion and suggestions feature requests. (Read 10179 times) previous topic - next topic

mastrolinux

Hi everyone,

it took a while to understand what happened. Our forum is reaching the technical limits of this really old PHP codebase and this website is not designed to scale. We would like to know if you as moderators are open to any other alternatives like Discourse or something similar. More modern platforms will allow us to scale easily.

As of now, this is what we did after the incident:

  • Resize our server
  • Improve CloudFlare caching for anonymous users
  • Added a WAF to protect from recent attacks causing high load on the server
  • Optimize the server for CPU usage instead of memory usage
  • Improved the monitoring and alerting system



Robin2

#1
Jan 23, 2020, 04:14 pm Last Edit: Jan 23, 2020, 06:22 pm by Robin2
Our forum is reaching the technical limits of this really old PHP codebase and this website is not designed to scale.
If there is not an easy and seamless upgrade path that is essentially invisible to us users maybe it would be worth starting a completely new system using whatever new Forum software seems best. New Topics could only be created in the new system and after a few weeks the old system could be made "read-only".

That's obviously not as satisfactory as a seamless upgrade, but very few Forum Topics run for a long time. And the last time there was an upgrade it caused a lot of irritation and took a while to settle down.


May I also suggest that if you do choose new Forum software then just use it without any modification other than to apply Arduino colours and the Arduino Logo.

...R
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

ballscrewbob

Thanks for the update Luca.

Just had a quick look at the Discourse demo.
A lot looks slightly familiar to some of the things we see in here so that would shorten learning curves.

Some nicer features that have already caught my eye were the inline picture posting and better user name call out ability.

Some aspects look a little cluttered but I would suppose that can be tailored a little.
Colours for code is also a nice touch.

A lot of the current guides for forum usage etc. would need a good chunk of revision.


It may not be the answer you were looking for but its the one I am giving based on either experience, educated guess, google (who would have thunk it ! ) or the fact that you gave nothing to go with in the first place so I used my wonky crystal ball.

ballscrewbob

Link to the forum demo for Discourse

Just so people can see what Luca meant.

It may not be the answer you were looking for but its the one I am giving based on either experience, educated guess, google (who would have thunk it ! ) or the fact that you gave nothing to go with in the first place so I used my wonky crystal ball.

wildbill

  • Resize our server

I was surprised to see that this wasn't "resize our servers".

Does the website software really constrain you to running it on a single box? What about the back end? If so, is it worth considering a migration to a cloud environment where you can scale up CPU and RAM dynamically with the ebb and flow of demand?

Looking at the stats at the bottom of the main page, it doesn't look as though usage is increasing, on the few times I've looked at it, ~3000 users sounds familiar and I see that the max was three years ago.

Is there anything else Cloudflare can do to fend off DOS attacks and the like?

If you're already cloud hosted and dynamic resource provisioning isn't solving your issues, then I guess it is time for a brand new forum as Robin2 suggests.

I also heartily agree with this:
Quote
May I also suggest that if you do choose new Forum software then just use it without any modification other than to apply Arduino colours and the Arduino Logo.

Robin2

#5
Jan 23, 2020, 06:36 pm Last Edit: Jan 23, 2020, 06:40 pm by Robin2
Link to the forum demo for Discourse

Just so people can see what Luca meant.
It would be nice if the Arduino developmet team had a team page like this

I enjoyed following the development of Stackoverflow in Jeff Attwood's and Joel Spolsky's blogs so the presence of Jeff in this project is comforting - though I have no idea how much (or how little) input he may have made.

However I was not at all impressed when I clicked this link
Quote
We have robust, tested converters for vBulletin, phpBB, Vanilla, bbPress, SMF,
.



I think the Arduino folks (with input from the Moderators) have to make the decision about what software to choose. It's not really a suitable thing for a large committee.

If there is a change to a new system we will all find it awkward and irritating for a while. It will be much easier to deal with that if there is STRONG support from the Arduino backroom boys.

My main requirement is that any new Forum software WILL NOT send me emails.

...R
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

ballscrewbob

#6
Jan 23, 2020, 07:41 pm Last Edit: Jan 29, 2020, 03:16 pm by ballscrewbob
I am a little leery of mods becoming too involved.
That side of things i think may need to be covered in the backroom.
The backend needs to be moderator friendly through all the different levels of mods (yes there are a few)

So long as moderator needs to be able to deal quickly and easily with mixed issues is covered without having to open multiple tabs or chase a moved item I would be happy.
Some simplicity would go a long way there. including a central moderator area to allow mods from other sections to input ideas (not currently possible or available)

Would like to see a migration of the posts so we dont have to start from scratch and can carry on where we may have left off. That would be a MUST for a lot of us I think. Otherwise it would be like buying a book with the last few pages missing then having to buy another copy to get to the end.

Then there would be the current post standings and rankings to address...
Doesn't sound much until you realise it does carry some weight with new people to be able to see that who they are dealing with has been around long enough to be able to offer valid advice.

Page formatting as it stands has quite a clean look and is easy to follow.
Some bells and whistles would be nice but I would implore them to K.I.S.S. and avoid too much eye candy.

Would also like to see what anyone else wants to bring to the table software wise.

Above all a suitable period of testing for whatever software is chosen on an isolated server with a good selection of people to wander around and break things so a transition / deployment would be smoother and most hiccups would have already been averted.
It would also gives the backroom teams a good grounding in the software and how to get to issues easily and deal with them having practiced ahead with live users so to speak.





It may not be the answer you were looking for but its the one I am giving based on either experience, educated guess, google (who would have thunk it ! ) or the fact that you gave nothing to go with in the first place so I used my wonky crystal ball.

TheMemberFormerlyKnownAsAWOL

Please don't PM technical questions - post them on the forum, then everyone benefits/suffers equally

ballscrewbob

What happened to Basecamp?
You mean the moderator section...its still there but it turns out most of the moderators dont have access... :smiley-eek:

It may not be the answer you were looking for but its the one I am giving based on either experience, educated guess, google (who would have thunk it ! ) or the fact that you gave nothing to go with in the first place so I used my wonky crystal ball.

TheMemberFormerlyKnownAsAWOL

Please don't PM technical questions - post them on the forum, then everyone benefits/suffers equally

ballscrewbob

To ask a moderator wide Q. you need to PM them all if you can gather up a complete list first.
And of course there are a few that are no longer members of the forums or dont even moderate the sections designated... ?!?!?!

You should come back and check it out  :smiley-twist:



It may not be the answer you were looking for but its the one I am giving based on either experience, educated guess, google (who would have thunk it ! ) or the fact that you gave nothing to go with in the first place so I used my wonky crystal ball.

TheMemberFormerlyKnownAsAWOL

Well, when you put it like that...



Nah.



Nothing's changed.
Please don't PM technical questions - post them on the forum, then everyone benefits/suffers equally

Robin2

The backend needs to be moderator friendly though through all the different levels of mods (yes there are a few)
That's all I had in mind.

...R
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

larryd

I hope these are not the cheapest options:  Discourse or something similar


No technical PMs.
If you are asked a question, please respond with an answer.
If you are asked for more information, please supply it.
If you need clarification, ask for help.

ballscrewbob

Cmon Larry ...  Masimo has deep pockets and short hands :D
It may not be the answer you were looking for but its the one I am giving based on either experience, educated guess, google (who would have thunk it ! ) or the fact that you gave nothing to go with in the first place so I used my wonky crystal ball.

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