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  #21  
Old 13.09.2020, 14:19
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Re: Dear Editor Bob... will you please consider a forum upgrade to Xenforo?

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Your experience makes it seem easy and straightforward.
I must be honest, it is not completely straightforward for the administrators and it can take days of preparatory work, but it can definitely be made straightforward for the users.

This is probably something that has to be stressed out: while we users shouldn't worry about losing our forum, the migration (any migration or upgrade actually) will be a cost for the owner, in both time and cash.

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Are the architectures that similar?
I would have thought that the field mapping can’t possibly be a straightforward 1:1.
Well, the basic data (users, forum sections, private and public messages) are almost always the same and I would be surprised if Xenforo doesn't provide import tools for other popular forums like phpBB or vBullettin.
It's the advanced functions that can't be mapped 1:1. Also, customizations must sometimes be re-developed. But EF looks quite standard in this respect.
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Old 13.09.2020, 14:25
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Re: Dear Editor Bob... will you please consider a forum upgrade to Xenforo?

I'd also be a bit suspicious of what purported to be a seamless upgrade from one forum software release to another, especially to one from a different manufacturer. It is not only the forum content itself where there is plenty of scope for a big mess, it is also the forum policies (things like maximum size of permitted attachments, deadline for edit corrections etc. etc.) and taking over user accounts with passwords, email addresses, reputation points etc.

I guess if I was doing it, I'd seriously consider simply freezing the existing forum, taking over only the user credentials to the new forum software (maybe even with a new domain name, say newenglishforum.ch) and providing a single link to the old forum. Of course, there would be some complaints at the beginning, and teething troubles etc. but those complainers could be consoled with the reality that they are getting what they paid for. Having said all that, there is definitely no risk of me becoming a site/forum administrator.

But I agree that there is clearly scope for improvement. Apart from what has already been mentioned, attachment handling is difficult, getting a picture small enough to be accepted and often then finding it displayed with an incorrect orientation. Also, mobile phone presentation is poor.
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Old 13.09.2020, 15:26
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Re: Dear Editor Bob... will you please consider a forum upgrade to Xenforo?

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Sky, to even imply I'd ever call you a cow is ! I just think that for the older and non-technical generations, it takes them a long time to get used to change (especially when something has been the same way for years and is now like a comfortable old woolly jumper) and as such they would always rather avoid it than spend time and (in their view) frustration dealing with it. As I wrote in the OP, I fully expected to see and hear it, especially as the forum has a contingent of older and very active expats. I see and deal with the same kind of thing in my family on a continual basis so it's nothing new.
There‘s probably an old woolly jumper template we could use. BTW „the older and non-technical generations“ are brown bread...
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Old 13.09.2020, 16:09
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Re: Dear Editor Bob... will you please consider a forum upgrade to Xenforo?

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There‘s probably an old woolly jumper template we could use. BTW „the older and non-technical generations“ are brown bread...
My 84 year old grandmother would politely disagree with you if she could use this forum. She has to retaught how to order food on Sainsbury's every time there is a cosmetic change to website.

My grandad really wanted to learn but never got picking the mouse up in the sie an pointing it at the screen like a gun.
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Old 13.09.2020, 17:26
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Re: Dear Editor Bob... will you please consider a forum upgrade to Xenforo?

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I'd also be a bit suspicious of what purported to be a seamless upgrade from one forum software release to another, especially to one from a different manufacturer. It is not only the forum content itself where there is plenty of scope for a big mess, it is also the forum policies (things like maximum size of permitted attachments, deadline for edit corrections etc. etc.) and taking over user accounts with passwords, email addresses, reputation points
That and the numerous patches?

I left the profession years ago, so I am out of the loop in terms of how today’s migrations are performed. Hence my genuine curiosity.

Also I’m sure you’ve got to have cases of n:n in the field mapping, thus actual data quality and what to keep, migrate or bin, becomes a reality.
Who would make those choices? The administrators, the developers or the owners of data?

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I guess if I was doing it, I'd seriously consider simply freezing the existing forum, taking over only the user credentials to the new forum software (maybe even with a new domain name, say newenglishforum.ch) and providing a single link to the old forum. Of course, there would be some complaints at the beginning, and teething troubles etc. but those complainers could be consoled with the reality that they are getting what they paid for. Having said all that, there is definitely no risk of me becoming a site/forum administrator.
And create an accessible read-only history?
But then what would you do with the GDPR requirements as that would inhibit users from managing their own data or requesting modification to their data?

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But I agree that there is clearly scope for improvement. Apart from what has already been mentioned, attachment handling is difficult, getting a picture small enough to be accepted and often then finding it displayed with an incorrect orientation. Also, mobile phone presentation is poor.
Yep.....
I’ve taken up knitting woolly jumpers.. very pleasant..
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  #26  
Old 13.09.2020, 17:53
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Re: Dear Editor Bob... will you please consider a forum upgrade to Xenforo?

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I'd also be a bit suspicious of what purported to be a seamless upgrade from one forum software release to another, especially to one from a different manufacturer. It is not only the forum content itself where there is plenty of scope for a big mess, it is also the forum policies (things like maximum size of permitted attachments, deadline for edit corrections etc. etc.) and taking over user accounts with passwords, email addresses, reputation points etc.
Skyscrapercity.com just did the same migration. No loss of users, posts, MPs. Also accound details, post counts and other statistics were preserved, avatars, and other small features.

I can't say about reputation points or groan count, because the vBullettin in Skyscrapercity did not use them like EF. I would guess they're different but with a good chance to be converted - I mean, in the end it's a just an integer counter stored somewhere. Skyscrapercity had a like counter and it was preserved.

Max size of attachments, deadline for edits etc. are for sure features present in Xenforo, they are standard features. But they are a good example of the 1000 things the admins will have to configure in the days before the migration.

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I guess if I was doing it, I'd seriously consider simply freezing the existing forum, taking over only the user credentials to the new forum software (maybe even with a new domain name, say newenglishforum.ch) and providing a single link to the old forum.
I've see it done in the past, the old forum simply dies after a while, since it can't be searched natively by the new one and people hate to go back and forth. It's like moving some of your books in another house a few kilometers away, of course they're "available", but you're not gonna read them anymore...

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But I agree that there is clearly scope for improvement. Apart from what has already been mentioned, attachment handling is difficult, getting a picture small enough to be accepted and often then finding it displayed with an incorrect orientation. Also, mobile phone presentation is poor.
Two nice examples... Xenforo works perfectly on mobile, and you can simply drag-and-drop pictures into the browser to attach pictures.

Just to clarify: I'm not pushing for Xenforo here, I just witnessed the same migration two months ago as a user and I'm providing feedbacks.

Maybe I should add some examples of things that work differently.
In vBullettin if you clic on the title of a discussion you go to the first post and if you clic on a certain smaller button you go to the last post. In Xenforo if you clic on the title of a discussion you go to the last page you haven't read, which can be a bit confusing at the beginning (many had to be explained this, including me) but after a couple of days you discover it's actually more useful.
The functionality to search within a single discussion is accessed differently, but it can be done. I must admit I don't use it that frequently (that forum is HUGE).
The MPs are called "conversations" and they are not divided between Received and Inbox.
The emoticons are the new Unicode unified ones.

There are other little things which are not exactly the same... but I would say that could also part of the reason to move, after all there's 15 more years of usability advancements to benefit from
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  #27  
Old 13.09.2020, 19:52
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Re: Dear Editor Bob... will you please consider a forum upgrade to Xenforo?

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Are you calling me an old cow young man?
She's a man? I always thought that she was a girl!

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  #28  
Old 13.09.2020, 23:25
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Re: Dear Editor Bob... will you please consider a forum upgrade to Xenforo?

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She's a man? I always thought that she was a girl!

Tom

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Old 14.09.2020, 08:58
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Re: Dear Editor Bob... will you please consider a forum upgrade to Xenforo?

I still don't actually understand why people think GDPR is applicable in the context of an Internet forum

[quote=wikipedia]Controllers and processors of personal data must put in place appropriate technical and organizational measures to implement the data protection principles. Business processes that handle personal data must be designed and built with consideration of the principles and provide safeguards to protect data[/wikipedia]

It's about personal data. There may be edge cases where someone actually uses their real name on the forum and there might be a requirement to remove an email address from the account record in the DB - but it really does not extend much more.

I would dare to say that the second clause in the quote above, namely safeguarding the data, are not in place here anyway.

And of course any migration path is possible. It's migrating the database from one schema to another, mapping fields, etc. Someone must have thought of that?
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  #30  
Old 29.03.2021, 11:33
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Re: Dear Editor Bob... will you please consider a forum upgrade to Xenforo?

I was going to start a thread along these lines, but I found this one so I'll just add my 2 cents to it.

Whether it's xenforo, a newer version of vbulletin or something else is immaterial. Sooner or later a migration will be forced, whether it's because the forum has been hacked, incompatibility with modern browsers (it already formats badly on every mobile device I've trid it on) or withdrawal of server support. I note, for example, that I'm getting a security warning for mixed content http/https at the moment from FF. At this point migration will have to be carried out in a bit of a panic or the forum switched off.

A few thoughts:

* many suitable alternatives exist to the current version of vBulletin the forum uses, namely 3.8.4 which is at least 10 years old.
* migration paths exist that will preserve data - *at the moment*. Future versions of eg. xenforo may not support migration from ancient versions of vBulletin.
* no migration is seamless - you can't please all the people all of the time.
* no migration is seamless - certain functionality will be missing and/or modified.
* no migration is without cost - preparation, downtime, server costs, license costs.

Old-world analogy: you can keep running your car indefinitely without changing the cambelt (which isn't cheap), but sooner or later it's going to fail, at which point you have an even more expensive problem on your hands and may have to bin the car. (petrolheads - I don't need you to pick holes in this analogy).

Migration isn't a question of "if", it's a question of "when". The longer it's left the more difficult it will be.
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  #31  
Old 29.03.2021, 16:10
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Re: Dear Editor Bob... will you please consider a forum upgrade to Xenforo?

I'd agree with all of that hairybadger. I guess some people object to a migration because they are so comfortable with the user experience as it is, but really any new format which might seem strange and awkward at first I'm sure everyone will get used to it pretty quickly.
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  #32  
Old 29.03.2021, 16:16
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Re: Dear Editor Bob... will you please consider a forum upgrade to Xenforo?

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I was going to start a thread along these lines, but I found this one so I'll just add my 2 cents to it.

Whether it's xenforo, a newer version of vbulletin or something else is immaterial. Sooner or later a migration will be forced, whether it's because the forum has been hacked, incompatibility with modern browsers (it already formats badly on every mobile device I've trid it on) or withdrawal of server support. I note, for example, that I'm getting a security warning for mixed content http/https at the moment from FF. At this point migration will have to be carried out in a bit of a panic or the forum switched off.

A few thoughts:

* many suitable alternatives exist to the current version of vBulletin the forum uses, namely 3.8.4 which is at least 10 years old.
* migration paths exist that will preserve data - *at the moment*. Future versions of eg. xenforo may not support migration from ancient versions of vBulletin.
* no migration is seamless - you can't please all the people all of the time.
* no migration is seamless - certain functionality will be missing and/or modified.
* no migration is without cost - preparation, downtime, server costs, license costs.

Old-world analogy: you can keep running your car indefinitely without changing the cambelt (which isn't cheap), but sooner or later it's going to fail, at which point you have an even more expensive problem on your hands and may have to bin the car. (petrolheads - I don't need you to pick holes in this analogy).

Migration isn't a question of "if", it's a question of "when". The longer it's left the more difficult it will be.
Agree, it needs to be done at some point in the not too distant future!

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I'd agree with all of that hairybadger. I guess some people object to a migration because they are so comfortable with the user experience as it is, but really any new format which might seem strange and awkward at first I'm sure everyone will get used to it pretty quickly.
Yes, especially from the older silver surfer generations who on average are slower to adapt to changes and getting used to new interfaces.
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  #33  
Old 29.03.2021, 16:26
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Re: Dear Editor Bob... will you please consider a forum upgrade to Xenforo?

While there may be a certain resistance to change by some people, based mostly on experiences over the decades that new versions of software often remove existing features and force users to work in new ways when they'd prefer to stick with the tried-and-tested, and rarely add much in the way of additional functionality that seems worthwhile,
the more fundamental questions of "Is an upgrade really needed?" and "will the Local ever get around to an upgrade or change?" remain unanswered.

We can debate the first of these two as much as we like, but we are not in a position to do anything about it. There's little evidence that anything we post on this forum will ever be seen or acknowledged by forum management.
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