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Thread: Forum Software

  1. #1
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    Forum Software

    I thought I read quite a while ago that there was going to be a upgrade to the forum software. I appreciate the forum, but this software is kind of old and dated. Will this software be updated?
    When working I had more money than time. In retirement I have more time than money. Love the time, miss the money.

  2. #2
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    As Keith has noted a few times, the plan is to migrate to a different, more modern forum software. The challenge and delay is relative to the technical resource who has to do it and their time availability. The process requires careful migration of over 18 years of data, both content and community member related and it has to be done "in one shot". Many forums have done this, but it still requires a concentrated effort. Hopefully, it can happen sometime "soon", personally speaking...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
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    I understand that this will be a complex process however I am believe it has been more than a year when this was brought up by Keith. Is there a schedule as to when this will happen?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by William C Rogers View Post
    I understand that this will be a complex process however I am believe it has been more than a year when this was brought up by Keith. Is there a schedule as to when this will happen?
    No there is no schedule that I'm aware of. You could send a PM to Keith, however, as I'm just repeating what I've heard.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
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    Aaron Koehl has been working on the programming part of the upgrade in the last couple of weeks. I gave him an extra drive so he could backup everything and run his test bed again. Aaron has to convert our banner advertising system to Xenforo and we are working on a new setup for our Friends of the Creek group.

    I am hesitant to speak about the topic because every time I do something happens to destroy our schedule. Aaron is a professor at William and Mary and due to the pandemic he was chosen to write and produce new video classes in addition to his regular work load. The upgrade will happen when it happens, I wish that we had it behind us already.

  6. #6
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    Having gone through this on a very large non-woodworking forum as an admin/moderator, it's often difficult for members to understand just what it takes to transition a site. All involved wish it was as easy as flipping a switch, especially Keith I'm sure. If it's not done methodically and properly, it fails. I'll equate it to putting together a beautiful project and then rushing the finishing...it turns out terrible, just like my last project!!!

    In the long run, switching over to Xenforo will have it's learning curve for many, but it's really worth the wait at the end. Good luck with the transition when the times comes.
    A wannabe woodworker!

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the update

  8. #8
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    Keith feel free to have Aaron reach out if he is running into any challenges with Xenforo. I took over as sysadmin for the American Association of Woodturners last year and just finished cleaning up their site and upgrading them to the latest Xenforo. It was a lot of work and the AAW forums are only about 10% the size of SMC so I understand the heavy lift that he is working through. Good luck!

  9. #9
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    Chris did an amazing job for the AAW site, one of the most facile upgrade processes I've ever seen. No idea what happened behind the scenes, but from a beta tester and user's perspective it was completely smooth and painless. -- and the site is dramatically improved, especially on mobile platforms.

    Just say yes to his offer!

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the offer to help us wit the upgrade. As soon as Aaron finishes the programming that has to be done to support our rotating banner program I will let you know.

  11. #11
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    Roger, Thank you for the kind words.

    Keith, sounds like a plan. Just have Aaron PM me here and we can share contact info and jump on a Zoom to discuss. Have a great week

  12. #12
    Just out of curiosity, what is the perceived deficiency/deficiencies?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Hutchison View Post
    Just out of curiosity, what is the perceived deficiency/deficiencies?
    The current software is old and doesn't support mobile devices natively or well at all. It's "functional", but the world has moved on. With so many folks accessing forums from mobiles, the native support alone is impetus for the upgrade, but better security, more flexibility and better "industry" support come into play, too.

    To be fair, at the time SMC came into being, the forum software used was the defacto-standard and the leader...times have changed.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. I own a much smaller forum that runs on a VPS with just over 100k posts. It took three days just for the database conversion to finish. It is not a fast, or easy process, so I have great sympathy for the admins here who are going to be upgrading.

  15. #15
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    The good news, Frank, is that there's an actual process/utility for converting VB forums to XenForo that works pretty well in-general. I believe that Aaron did a "dry run" quite some time ago. I was surprised at how fast most of the forums I participate in that did the conversion pulled it off, some as large or larger than SMC. This is not meant to trivialized the process, however...it's still intense, time consuming and with a lot of the necessary customizations required to keep certain features online, there's quite a bit of real work involved over and above running the data conversion.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 03-27-2021 at 8:28 AM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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