Forum software update

New build announcements plus site news and changes.

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Azhrei
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Forum software update

Post by Azhrei »

Hey folks.

I'm running a little behind on keeping the forum software updated so I'm going to be taking us from 3.0.10 to 3.0.14 on the phpBB software this week. In fact, I'm reading the release notes now and we may go all the way to 3.1.9 if I find it necessary or beneficial.

I will start my behind-the-scenes work on Monday, July 4th, so that when the clock strikes 1am EDT (UTC -0400) on Thursday morning I'll be able to flip a switch and put the new version in place. It does mean that the forum may be down for a few minutes that morning so I can verify that things still seem to work okay. ;)

I will post again to this thread approximately 24 hours before the switch so that this thread becomes "unread" again, just to give you a reminder. Again, I don't expect the forum to be offline more than 30-60 minutes. In the past, all of the work was done in advance so the actual transition appeared to be pretty quick from our readers' perspective.

Thanks everyone!

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Azhrei
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Re: Forum software update

Post by Azhrei »

Well, no update. :(

It seems that because phpBB 3.0 is at end of life, we really should go to 3.1.9. However, there are numerous incompatibilities between 3.0 and 3.1. Some are simply additional risks in making the conversion (like database schema updates) and others are a loss of functionality (that fortunately won't affect many of us here, like losing some themes).

Anyway, this means more testing on my part as well as rounding up some stats on just how much we'll lose when we switch. We might lose nothing (maybe no one here is using the themes that we will have to give up?) or it could be something significant (will I need to recode the spoiler support? how long will that take?).

In any case, it's too detailed to make the change right now. Since Real Life is going to get in my way over the next few weeks, I expect to do some testing and simulated conversions, but not throw the switch until the week of August 1st. I'm targeting 1:00 AM EDT (5:00 AM UTC) on Wednesday, August 3rd.

I apologize for the hassle, and I'll update this thread again when I'm closer to making the switch. This thread will also go back into the "global announcement" status when I know more. Thanks for reading this far! :)

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Jagged
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Re: Forum software update

Post by Jagged »

This is very appreciated. Thanks.

I am sure no one will mind if they have to change their theme.

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RPTroll
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Re: Forum software update

Post by RPTroll »

Agreed.
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Azhrei
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Re: Forum software update

Post by Azhrei »

Well, the default "prosilver" theme is, I believe, supposed to be more mobile friendly, particularly after the upgrade. Since it's the default it should be updated as part of the version change, but other themes won't be. The most common theme here is subAndreas08 (27k+ profiles reference it) so I'll likely try to support that one.

I went on a "theme binge" in the early days. We have 32 themes installed and all but two have at least one profile referencing them. However, that only amounts to a few hundred profiles that will find their themes changed... I plan to purge old accounts as well. Probably something like "if they have 0 posts and haven't logged in within the last year, their account is deleted". And if they do have posts but haven't logged in within 3 years, those might get deleted too. Not so sure about that last one. I know a lot of forums purge old accounts every year or so...

I agree that in general the loss of a theme is not a huge issue. However, there are some that might be important for some users -- high-contrast themes, color avoidance (for those with any of the various color blindness issues), default font sizes, and so on.

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aliasmask
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Re: Forum software update

Post by aliasmask »

I like my super ugly envision theme. Mostly for the forum width and link placements.

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Full Bleed
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Re: Forum software update

Post by Full Bleed »

Azhrei wrote:I agree that in general the loss of a theme is not a huge issue.

If we lose subsilver2 I'm outta here!

:p
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Azhrei
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Re: Forum software update

Post by Azhrei »

aliasmask wrote:I like my super ugly envision theme. Mostly for the forum width and link placements.

Heh, I'm with you, but we're two of only seven people using it!! I'm hoping the new prosilver's mobile support will mean it's more adaptive to window width but I haven't looked at it at all. Yet.

Full Bleed wrote:If we lose subsilver2 I'm outta here!

:p

No worries, FB! After the big one, prosilver and subsilver2 have as many users as all of the others combined (something like 85 for those two). That means those three are likely the ones I'll work the hardest to implement. We certainly wouldn't want to scare you away!

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Full Bleed
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Re: Forum software update

Post by Full Bleed »

Azhrei wrote:
aliasmask wrote:I like my super ugly envision theme. Mostly for the forum width and link placements.

Heh, I'm with you, but we're two of only seven people using it!!

OMG... I just took a look at that thing... *shivers*

No worries, FB! After the big one, prosilver and subsilver2 have as many users as all of the others combined (something like 85 for those two). That means those three are likely the ones I'll work the hardest to implement.

Cool... subsilver2 is pretty white bread... but it's funny how you get to associating a certain look to a place you spend time at.

That said, if I were you I wouldn't burn too much time looking to shoehorn in anything that doesn't plug-n-play. There are probably some analytics around that will tell you something like "top 10 phpbb" themes with compatibility to the new version you're moving to and just implement those. Then open the floor for people to suggest some others (provided compatibility) if they have some severe aversion to their choices... or need something specific.

We're wading pretty deep into 1.4 now so a facelift won't feel too out of place.
Last edited by Full Bleed on Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Azhrei
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Re: Forum software update

Post by Azhrei »

Full Bleed wrote:That said, if I were you I wouldn't burn too much time looking to shoehorn in anything that doesn't plug-n-play. There are probably some analytics around that will tell you something like "top 10 phpbb" themes with compatibility to the new version you're moving to and just implement those. Then open the floor for people to suggest some others (provided compatibility) if they have some serve aversion to their choices... or need something specific.

Yeah, that's my plan, but it really depends on how much support there is for other themes. I expect we'll end up with three, more if they have "official" support from the phpBB team (since that means upgrades will be less painful).

I browsed through the plugins available for 3.1 last night and there are some nice features that I plan to add once I'm sure the rest of the board functions correctly after upgrading.

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