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Thread: Forum Software Change

  1. #1
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
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    1,160

    Forum Software Change

    Hello fellow Forum members,

    Sometime in the next month or two, we will be retiring the current forum software and switching over to a vBulletin-based forum. Any of you who have visited other photography forums, most notably www.APUG.org, are probably familiar with this software. We felt it was pretty intuitively set up and would fulfill most feature requests that have been expressed in the past. While some members may be disappointed with this change, we believe you'll eventually agree that the gains will outweigh the losses.

    While I enjoyed helping to write the current software and am pleased that most members seem to like it, I really don't have the time these days to modify or maintain it. Also, for long-term needs we felt it best to move to a package that was likely to be supported for the foreseeable future. Some members will recall that over-reliance on custom software very nearly sunk the forum a few years ago.

    As for the conversion, we have been evaluating, testing, and configuring the new home with an eye toward simplicity and keeping it as speedy as possible. The performance isn't as snappy as it is now, but is still quite good. Importing the archives will take the most work and some details still need working out, but I think we'll get it done without too much difficulty.

    We'll have more news later once we get more of the details ironed out. We just wanted you to know what is coming so you wouldn't feel blindsided by this major change to our little corner of the Internet.

    Kind regards

  2. #2
    Rafal Lukawiecki's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    Location
    Co. Wicklow, Ireland
    Posts
    123

    Forum Software Change

    Will you still support RSS, please?

    Rafal
    Rafal Lukawiecki
    See rafal.net | Read rafal.net/articles

  3. #3
    Moderator
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    Forum Software Change

    < Will you still support RSS, please?

    Definitely.

  4. #4
    Deeply Fried
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    132

    Forum Software Change

    Good decision, Tom. Good luck with the transition.

  5. #5

    Forum Software Change

    Don't make it look to similar to APUG! Regular visitors of both will get confused on which forum they are.

  6. #6
    Moderator
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    Forum Software Change

    > Don't make it look to similar to APUG!

    Not to worry. I think we're going with the default style to begin with--it's mostly blue-ish. I think Sean would pitch a fit if we tried to copy his look. I only referred to that site becuase the basic functions will be similar and will be more-or-less familiar to users of that site. Sean has done a lot of customization over there that we probably won't do.

  7. #7

    Forum Software Change

    I rather like the current lean and simple style - still very much in the spirit of Phil Greenspun's approach to web programming. But I do understand the burden of maintenance and appreciate all your efforts over the years. Good luck with the transition...

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    San Clemente, California
    Posts
    2,276

    Forum Software Change

    Tom, you can't be faulted for wanting some relief. I will, however, miss the cleanest, most efficient and effective bulletin board user interface that exists on the Web. My suspicion is that a need for more moderator control over miscreant posters was the single biggest factor driving this decision...

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    1,417

    Forum Software Change

    "but I think we'll get it done without too much difficulty.".

    Doh! You just totally pissed off the IT gods and are doomed to failure. I sincerely hope all goes well but as an IT pro of many years I cringe when I see a comrade tempt fate like that. Best of luck!

  10. #10
    unexposed darr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,804

    Forum Software Change

    Through our Internet business we added a forum a few years back. We began with Invision software, but became disenchanted with it and looked for something better. We found vBulletin and have used it for a few years now and are glad we made the change when we did. IMO the vBulletin software is one of the best forum platforms out there. Even though it may run slower for the end user when compared to the current format, (APUG runs slower for me than this forum in comparison), it will give the owners a reliable up-to-date solution for security updates which is an important factor to consider when making such a leap in changes (a lot of work if archiving all the threads!!). There are a few reliable solutions for vBulletin skins and other add-ons (i.e. gallery addition) like vBstyles (http://www.vbstyles.com/) and vBadvanced (http://www.vbadvanced.com/) that we have used with much success. I will miss the current simple design on this end, but I totally understand the need for the change. Good luck with the transition.

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