Tweaks and changes to the new forum

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Scott Irving
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Re: Tweaks and changes to the new forum

Post by Scott Irving » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:04 am

I to have been floating around here for more then a decade and to be honest once a post gets "old" unless some needs something and i recall a post and a I search for it, I never look at old posts. Which I can still do.

Again one of the biggest reasons we started fresh is to avoid having problems, which we feel were becoming detrimental to operation of the forum. Also converting the old database over would more then likely take vast amounts of time that none of us have. It's not that we don't want to it's just we don't have that much time. That's not to say we can't and won't try it and see how it goes with our test forum.
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Re: Tweaks and changes to the new forum

Post by Angelfish » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:50 am

Why would converting the database take vast amounts of working time? Have you tried the script that I looked up for you? Because from what I understand it's fully automated... Which in turn is why I looked it up for you.. to save you time, which you don't have.

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Re: Tweaks and changes to the new forum

Post by Draxas » Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:14 am

Rider wrote:Y'know why those forums where great? Because of the people that where part of it. I'm not at all sentimental about losing a forum iteration, though I have thought about it, but found no real reason to feel otherwise. For me it's the community that counts, and we're bringing that along to this place. Everything else is just water under the bridge.
Hear here. The people that post on a board are the heart of any community. Even if what they had to say is lost, as long as they're still around, then the board lives on.

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Re: Tweaks and changes to the new forum

Post by Scott Irving » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:21 am

We can take a look at trying the converter out possibly with our test board, however due to some of the modifications that were used on SMF and possibly some of the bugs in our database I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't work. But I (?) don't have access to try it our myself so we shall see.
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Eth
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Re: Tweaks and changes to the new forum

Post by Eth » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:17 am

Angelfish wrote:
Eth wrote:The problem was that fixing or migrating the forum properly would entail one of the following:

1. Opening up the database to a random person, who could steal people's information.
2. Spending a lot of time trying to fix or migrate it, with no guarantee of success.
3. Spending a lot of money hiring someone to solve the problem.

#1 was unethical. Chad was unwilling to do #2, as he simply doesn't have the time to spare. And nobody felt like spending a bunch of money for #3, either. After months of doing what we could think of, and suggesting various solutions, Chad agreed that simply starting over with a better-supported forum was the way to go, while maintaining the old forum in a read-only state as an archive. There was some delay as we dealt with the redesign of the main PoNaF site and the migration to the new server, but once that was over, and after we'd tested the new forum and got the SC theme done, Chad decided to do the switch.
So, first you ask for my help, after which I spend some time looking around, and posting a solution for this problem..
And now you're not going to do anything with it because you weren't going to migrate the forum anyhow?
Sorry, I was just responding to your posts immediately above mine, and explaining how we arrived at this point. Ultimately the decision was and is Chad's, so if he thinks that it's worth trying to convert the database to PhpBB, he will attempt to do that. As Scott pointed out, though, the integrity of the database is compromised in some way that we cannot pinpoint, which was causing the forum to malfunction for years on end. This made it hard to keep new people, who had no reason to hang around a malfunctioning board. If a few people simply refuse to make the switch to the new software, I guess that's the price we have to pay to keep things running and make this place attractive to new members.

The old posts are all archived. Anyone who wants to pick up where they left off is welcome to do so here. Several popular and long-running threads have already be reincarnated here.

Frankly, I don't see what the big deal is. Several forums I've been a member of have gone through multiple incarnations. Many of these occurred after spectacular and catastrophic technical problems. This one was far more organized and planned-out than most.

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Angelfish
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Re: Tweaks and changes to the new forum

Post by Angelfish » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:13 am

Oh, I'm not complaining about the switch, I just think you should do anything in your power to restore the old posts to these forums.
I'm a regular visitor on a forum in which I can still find the first post by the first user 11 years ago. In the meantime the forum has undergone several software changes, but it's still going strong, and it's great that we can still post in most of those old topics and refer to them etc etc. This also makes it so that a LOT of requests for dutch information on a certain topic in google get referred to that forum. Wouldn't it be great if all searches about Star Control pointed to a massively filled forum over here, instead of to an archive? :)
But I think the confusion in this topic is due to the confusion of the will to migrate from my side. I thought the Star-Control crew wanted to migrate if they could. But now it appears that they think it's not really neccessary. Obviously I have a different opinion ;).

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Re: Tweaks and changes to the new forum

Post by Draxas » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:02 pm

On a completely unrelated note to the ongoing discussion, I have a point of improvement: I would like links in posts to open in a separate window like they used to on the old forum.

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Eth
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Re: Tweaks and changes to the new forum

Post by Eth » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:14 pm

Angelfish wrote:But I think the confusion in this topic is due to the confusion of the will to migrate from my side. I thought the Star-Control crew wanted to migrate if they could. But now it appears that they think it's not really neccessary. Obviously I have a different opinion ;).
It never even occurred to us that we could migrate the data from SMF to PhpBB; it never came up in the discussions we had. Scott visited the link you posted and we'll be looking into it if we can figure it out.

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Re: Tweaks and changes to the new forum

Post by Lukipela » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:39 pm

I actually looked into migrating posts a bit, but I didn't think much of it since we couldn't solve the database problem anyhow.

Angelfish, I appreciate that you feel strongly on this issue. But despite being told repeatedly what the problem is, you don't seem to get it. Migrating the old posts to this forum isn't a major stepping stone, although it certainly isn't as easy as just pressing a few buttons in some software. Things generally never are. ;) The problem is that the old database is broken. Busted. Destroyed. Finito ;)

I spent the better part of four months looking for ways to fix it with help from SMF people. We know it is busted, because we created a new fresh SMF forum, which worked perfectly. Until we exported our database into it, at which stage it became utterly broken. There's no proper way to test this on phpBB. When we migrated from Yabb, we didn't notice any problems for several years, and then they only slowly built up until they reached intolerable levels. The only way to be sure this doesn't happen again would be to do the same thing. We could migrate to a test forum, test for 5+ years and then if it works we'd be fairly certain that it's okay to migrate. That's five more years of everyone else hanging out on the broken SMF software while we ensure that the same thing didn't happen again. Just for the old posts that are still hosted on PNF, still freely accessible and still on a forum that points to this place. ;) ;)

But luckily, there's a way for you to translate that eager inner energy of you into something more useful than repeatedly stating that you think we simply don't want to do this. I'll even explain to you what you need to do in one simple step! ;)

1. Find someone who can analyse and fix the broken SMF database. It has to be someone completely reliable who won't turn around and sell all those email addresses to a spam list. Probably a small company that works with database recovery and has good reputation in the field. They might want to get paid though, so perhaps you should try and collect some money from other members first. I'll happily donate 100 SEK to your cause.

Once you've done this one thing, we'll be happy to have this reputable source fix the database. Then we'll test it out in an SMF test forum, and export it to our phpBB test community. If it works out, we'll still need to figure out if we want to post all that data as a separate locked forum on this site, or go through the headache of merging all the doubled user accounts. If you can find some software for that as well, that'd be good. ;)

See the thing is, it's easy to sit around and talk about what ought to be done when you don't need to do anything but talk. But you actually went and googled a converter for us, so I'm hoping you're up for doing something more for your community and the issue you care so deeply about. The moderating team is busy ironing out all the small kinks on the forum, rebuilding the site and trying to figure out how to best preserve the old forum with the resources we actually have. We can't drop everything to do this. Besides, we failed last time, so trying again won't change much. ;)

Oh, that reminds me, there's a lot of small requests in this thread. Like said earlier, smilies is doable. Since fluffy_banana volunteered to help we might even get some SC smilies, though I'm not promising anything yet. Name font is probably doable. I'll look into these two after Easter, when the hubbub has died down. I'll also check the link thing, that must be somewhere in the template. So if you haven't seen any improvement on these in three weeks, PM me and remind me to do my job. If you haven't seen anything done about migration of the old forum, PM Angelfish since he seems to be taking care of that now. Or at last I hope so, we really appreciate it! You're our last, best hope for migration! ;)

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Re: Tweaks and changes to the new forum

Post by Lukipela » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:40 pm

Also, in regards to the philosophical part... While I think it'd be good to have the old posts here, Rider is absolutely right. The users make the community great, not an index of old posts. You're all great.

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