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View Full Version : Forum upgrade advanced notice and planning


Ian
22nd January 2016, 01:22 PM
Truth be told, we are running an old version of vBulletin and we are long overdue for modernisation. Benefits should include a much better experience for mobile and tablet users, better integration with social media services like Facebook, a more slick user interface, some bug fixes, better private messaging (PMs) and better security plus a whole lot more.

Therefore I am no planning a period of development of the forum installations on all my sites and I will be updating each one, one at a time. The e-group is the busiest site so it will be the last to be updates as by then we should be more experienced with the upgrade processes.

During the upgrade there will be inevitable disruption and some temporary loss of features and functionality because we run a highly customised forum here and the customisations need to be re-applied once the core forum us up and running in its vanilla form.

I will do my best to preserve earned attributes like Likes and Thanks, but I can't yet guarantee this. Posting stats will be preserved, though, as they are part of the core forum database.

If there are any forum features you have seen elsewhere and you would like to see introduced here, please let me know.

Thanks,

Ian

Petanque
22nd January 2016, 01:56 PM
Bravo! That is a massive undertaking. As a tablet user I am delighted to hear of the upgrade. Very best of luck
Gary.

Walti
22nd January 2016, 02:04 PM
Ian,

This forum is provided as free to the users, should we be having a whip round to assist with the inevitable costs incurred?

Graham_of_Rainham
22nd January 2016, 02:36 PM
Bravo! That is a massive undertaking. As a tablet user I am delighted to hear of the upgrade. Very best of luck
Gary.

In addition to the forum being available with Tapatalk, I have found that Firefox on the iPad handles the forum better than Safari.

*chr

Wee man
22nd January 2016, 03:13 PM
Thanks for the heads up and for all the work you and your volunteers do in the background. Hope to see you at the Photography Show in Birmingham; there is a group meet up on Monday 21 st final details to be sorted. Ed

Ian
22nd January 2016, 04:05 PM
Ian,

This forum is provided as free to the users, should we be having a whip round to assist with the inevitable costs incurred?

That's a nice thought :)

We are partially funded but I may well explore the possibility of a voluntary donation facility.

Ian

Ian
22nd January 2016, 04:06 PM
Thanks for the heads up and for all the work you and your volunteers do in the background. Hope to see you at the Photography Show in Birmingham; there is a group meet up on Monday 21 st final details to be sorted. Ed

Thanks Ed, I am certainly planning to be at the show. I am always there on Day 1 and sometimes on other days.

Ian

catkins
22nd January 2016, 10:48 PM
Sounds like someone will be busy for a while! All the best and good to hear that the e-group forum will hopefully benefit from others experiences of the changeover!!
Will there be any changes or (dare I say it) improvements to the way that we can upload photos onto our posts in a more direct way?
Hope it all goes well with the updates - a lot of work goes unseen into this site and it is appreciated - cheers
Chris

drmarkf
23rd January 2016, 08:53 AM
We don't say it often enough, but we're all enormously grateful for all the hard work you and the moderators have done keeping everything here running so well. Some form of non-intrusive donation system would be good.

Imageryone
23rd January 2016, 09:38 AM
I echo all the thanks above, the forum is such a pleasure to use, Ian.

If you are planning new ideas, would it be possible to link the " Thanks " and " " Like " buttons to the " Read " button on the left hand column? Thus letting us know we have contributed to that thread?

Ian
23rd January 2016, 10:18 AM
Sounds like someone will be busy for a while! All the best and good to hear that the e-group forum will hopefully benefit from others experiences of the changeover!!
Will there be any changes or (dare I say it) improvements to the way that we can upload photos onto our posts in a more direct way?
Hope it all goes well with the updates - a lot of work goes unseen into this site and it is appreciated - cheers
Chris

Basically we are updating to vBulletin Connect 5. This does have improved in-post photo capabilities. We do encourage people to use our own gallery area of course as photos only posted in the forum are likely to be seen only briefly while in the gallery they remain more accessible for longer. But there does have to be a better balance and I can't expect everyone to use the gallery all of the time so that is one aim of the upgrade.

Ian

catkins
24th January 2016, 10:20 AM
Basically we are updating to vBulletin Connect 5. This does have improved in-post photo capabilities. We do encourage people to use our own gallery area of course as photos only posted in the forum are likely to be seen only briefly while in the gallery they remain more accessible for longer. But there does have to be a better balance and I can't expect everyone to use the gallery all of the time so that is one aim of the upgrade.

Ian

Thanks for the update - I'm pleased to hear about the improvement to in-post photo uploads as sometimes speed and simplicity of posting encourages more posts, but agree re gallery and hopefully that too will be an important part of us sharing, viewing, commenting on and even learning from each others great photos. So a big *chr from me for this!
Chris

RogerMac
24th January 2016, 11:30 AM
Basically we are updating to vBulletin Connect 5. This does have improved in-post photo capabilities. We do encourage people to use our own gallery area of course as photos only posted in the forum are likely to be seen only briefly while in the gallery they remain more accessible for longer. But there does have to be a better balance and I can't expect everyone to use the gallery all of the time so that is one aim of the upgrade.

Ian

I am a member of another forum (also using vbulletin) and in post photo uploads there are always criticised as lacking sharpness. I would hope that this has been improved on the latest release. Incidentally there are some occasions where a post will have little relevance outside the thread to which it refers and in-post capability would be very suitable for these.

Incidentally what is the forum policy on posting into this gallery but linking into another forum? I have always assumed that would be bad manners and useing your bandwidth needlessly but as a result my Flickr account has got rather muddled!
Roger

IanB
24th January 2016, 09:52 PM
Basically we are updating to vBulletin Connect 5. This does have improved in-post photo capabilities. We do encourage people to use our own gallery area of course as photos only posted in the forum are likely to be seen only briefly while in the gallery they remain more accessible for longer. But there does have to be a better balance and I can't expect everyone to use the gallery all of the time so that is one aim of the upgrade.

Ian NO NO NO NO NO
Have I got your attention; VB 5 has KILLED many forums including a photography one I was on.

I'm not right up with forum bases so I have to ask about how different is vB5 and vB Connect?

An upgrade would be great even if I personal not noticed a reason to upgrade in this great forum.

IMO this one of the better (http://4x4earth.com/forum/index.php) modern forum bases I use as a member.

Sadly this forum (http://www.ausph.com/forum) is about an 1/8 of itself, much of which caused by the vBulletin 5

There is no way to back to the old once vB5 was installed

vB5 is not photo/photography friendly. The owner of the forum I help moderate said he was getting vB5 but after learning of and then reading of the dramas we are stuck with vB4 for now

Sorry fellas; an upgrade is a BIG job, way over and above my capabilities and understandings but have a really long look at vB5 before committing

*chr

IanB
24th January 2016, 10:05 PM
Conversion from 3 people from the back room when the owner announced an upgrade

This site is not mobile friendly unless using tapatalk, VB5 is Specifically mobile friendly , unless we get it the ranking of Number 1 could be affected

http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/


I will put a donate button to see if we can get the $200 for VB 5

http://www.vbulletin.com/en/mobile/

-----------


don't even think about VB 5!!

----------------


You got a thing against VB5?

How does VB5 compare to our current VB4.2.1 (which isn't the latest 4.2; current version of 4.2 available is 4.2.2 patch level 4)

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IMO John........; total ****

This is the one I know http://www.ausph.com/forum

apparently there is no way of returning to VB4. It was very early days of VB5 and I guess there have been some fix ups. Kym; Rick's IT expert dropped into photoholics with what I thought was a quiet warning between the lines. It basically killed that forum.

This mob http://4x4earth.com/forum/index.php have just moved to a new forum base but I'm not very active there.......couple things seem missing but........ Might be worth contacting them about the change over.....took them months to set it up before switching over.

-----------

Yeah, been doing some googling... seems like VB4 is not as good as VB3 and VB5 is even worse.

________


Nothing more has been said about the or any upgrade.
John is the forum's IT expert and works in a high IT office

mstphoto
25th January 2016, 04:32 AM
Thanks for the heads up and for all the work you and your volunteers do in the background. Hope to see you at the Photography Show in Birmingham; there is a group meet up on Monday 21 st final details to be sorted. Ed

Kiwi Paul and myself are flying down from Aberdeen on the 21st.
Looking forward to meeting you all *chr

Mike

Dallas
25th January 2016, 04:48 AM
Good luck with the upgrade, Ian.

I have been running my own photography forum for almost 10 years. I started with SMF software which was free, but about 4 years ago I looked into software provided by Invision called IP.Board and I made that leap. It was probably the best thing I ever did because it has taught me so much about software that I am now developing my own themes, pages and portals for it easily. They also have several import scripts that convert all your existing databases into IP.Board ones. Some things like avatars and smilies may get messed up in the conversion, but on the whole the resultant improvement of everything else is well worth it. Look at my site (http://www.fotozones.com) to see what can be done with it.

Dallas
28th March 2016, 02:38 PM
Good luck, Ian.

I run a photography site (http://www.fotozones.com) using Invision software and I can tell you that it is considerably better than vBulletin in every respect. If you decide to consider that option and need some advice please feel free to drop me a line. I developed the linked site myself using their IP.Content module.

Ian
30th May 2016, 04:45 PM
There is a big debate inside the microcosm of forum operators because (and there is much truth in this) the company that took over the vBulletin product a few years back didn't do a very good job of developing the platform.

This did wind up a lot of forum operators who felt the need to migrate (which is very hard work) their boards to different platforms. On top of that the original developers of vBulletin, who sold the company in the first place, then set up a rival company to develop Xenforo, a direct competitor to vBulletin. I think the debate got far too personalised. I did think about switching platforms but in the end I have decided to stay with vBulletin and we are licensed up to the latest version.

vB5 started off badly but it is now fine. Indeed, the same can be said of vB4.

Ian

Ian
30th May 2016, 04:49 PM
We need to make some more server updates so please be warned that some temporary interruptions to service will be happening. I will follow up once these have been completed.

Ian

Zuiko
30th May 2016, 04:52 PM
Thanks for the advance warning, Ian, I hope it goes smoothly.

Ian
30th May 2016, 08:25 PM
OK, we are done for now thanks.

Ian