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Old 18th May 2021
J65nko J65nko is offline
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Default Feasibility study of migrating from Vbulletin to Simple Machine Forums

See http://daemonforums.org/showthread.php?t=11752
Because that is in the announcement section, you cannot reply to it there. And here you can .....
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Old 18th May 2021
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You can add me to your list of user experience testers.
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Old 18th May 2021
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Me too.
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Old 18th May 2021
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I'll test too
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Old 19th May 2021
J65nko J65nko is offline
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In about two or three days I will send you a Private Message with the details.
Thanks for the help
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Old 19th May 2021
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Please add me too.
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Old 2nd June 2021
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If its not too late I would like to help test.
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Old 12th June 2021
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Yeah, sure, I don't mind testing things.

I can also do some work on getting the technical part correct if need be. Just let me know.
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Old 13th June 2021
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I took a look around, and SMF feels kind of archaic to be honest, even more so than vBulletin, and belonging in a different time. Almost all major tech platforms use Markdown: Stack Overflow, GitHub, even Reddit (which is used by many more than just tech peeps). I don't post here very often any more, but every time I do it's always "oh yeah, bbcode"; it took me a few tries to get the [url] syntax right for this post :-/ And a big "smiley" toolbar? Emojis are a thing, with native input on pretty much every platform. In general, it just feels like something out of 2005.

I don't really know what other options are out there; but personally, I'd look for something else. For example Discourse is used quite a bit, although I never actually used it myself so I don't know if it's a good fit.

The Lobste.rs code base might also be an option with some modifications; the biggest downside is that it's intended as a link aggregation platform rather than a text forum, with a few simple patches you can emphasize the "text post" feature over "link posts" (or even remove link posts altogether). I can work a bit on this if need be.

Or maybe something else, or maybe people are happy with the "old" forum format and that's fine too. I hardly ever post here anymore and only check in once a month or so, and I'm only barely a member of this community. I'm not the person who will have to use this regularly so my preferences aren't really all that important; I'm just willing to invest some time in it now because I invested a lot of time in the past and would like to see it succeed going forward too

But personally, I'd look for some other options than SMF. It's a bit more work, but we've been on an unmaintained vBulletin 3.8.4 from 2009 for 12 years now, and an extra month or two isn't going to matter all that much IMHO.

Just my 2¢ anyway.
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Old 13th June 2021
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Oh, and also: by doing something different there is also an opportunity to add value to e.g. the FreeBSD forums, rather than "do the same, except on a different domain". In that sense, looking for a more "Stack Overflow"-y thing might also be an option. There are loads of open source Stack Overflow clones out there.

And I don't mean Stack Overflow *exactly*, since I think the exact Stack Overflow model is a poor fit, but you can have a more relaxed Stack Overflow-y platform. Stack Overflow has a bit of a bad reputation (not undeserved IMHO), but some of the other Stack Exchange sites (like Vi & Vim site) are already much nicer, which demonstrates that the basic model is fairly sound and can work well (certainly better than Stack Overflow). I'd argue that vi.stackexchange.com is literally the best place on the internet to ask most of your Vim questions (although I am obviously biased on account of having spent a lot of time there).

Daemonforums is from 2008, a year before Stack Overflow, but if I had launched it a year or so later I probably would have done this. That's also what I told the FreeBSD forums people at the time when we initially discussed things in some private conversations. They did decide to go with the forum route, and to be fair that did work out fairly well for them, but I still think it would have been more useful as a more Q&A focused platform.
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Old 15th June 2021
J65nko J65nko is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
I took a look around, and SMF feels kind of archaic to be honest, even more so than vBulletin, and belonging in a different time.
[snip]
I don't really know what other options are out there; but personally, I'd look for something else. For example
Discourse
is used quite a bit, although I never actually used it myself so I don't know if it's a good fit.
It may feel archaic, but I don't mind. What is important for me is the migration path from Vbulletin that SMF provides. And SMF is not picky about PHP versions.

I ruled out Discourse because it is a Ruby on Rails app, that I am not familiar with.

Re: Patching Lobste.rs
I appreciate your offer to work on this, but I rather would prefer a code base that is not dependent on a single person, even it is nice person like you .

Quote:
Or maybe something else, or maybe people are happy with the "old" forum format and that's fine too. I hardly ever post here anymore and only check in once a month or so, and I'm only barely a member of this community. I'm not the person who will have to use this regularly so my preferences aren't really all that important; I'm just willing to invest some time in it now because I invested a lot of time in the past and would like to see it succeed going forward too
I prefer the "old" forum format. It makes it easy to search for info. Up to now we have a high ranking in Google searches, thanks to the time and effort that you and the other admins invested in setting up this forum in 2008. Because of my moving house from Vught to Budel and the new house renovation, I could not offer any assistance at at that time.
I am grateful for your offer to help, I also want it to succeed.

Quote:
But personally, I'd look for some other options than SMF. It's a bit more work
Migrating to SMF is still quite some work..... I still need to find a proper SMF mod to make custom BBcodes like [oman] etc.

Then we have to deal with the internal URL references, i.e. a forum post refers to another local forum post. The URL format for posts in Vbulletin and SMF are not identical.
I have seen some rewrite rules that could also take care of the Vbulletin style URLs that people and Google have bookmarked.

And then we may need to generate a sitemap for Google and submit it.

Although not that very urgent, I also want to talk to people of archive.org what we should do to get properly (not only the front page) archived/crawled for their Wayback machine.


RE: Stackoverflow and FreeBSD forum

I think the success of the "official" FreeBSD forums is because it is "official", well moderated and provides a more user-friendly alternative to the "archaic" mailing lists that users had to deal with before. (A mailing list is like a forum with only one single gigantic forum section)
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Old 15th June 2021
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Sure, practical considerations such as "I don't know any Ruby" are perfectly reasonable. It's just that if you're going to do a big migration then it makes sense to think about "do we want to do anything different?" as the amount of effort probably isn't too much more and there might be some gains. But "continue with the same" is fine too.

Quote:
I still need to find a proper SMF mod to make custom BBcodes like [oman] etc.
Personally I'd just rewrite them to [url] tags with a regexp and call it a day if this is hard to do in SMF. The old bsdforums didn't have them and I just added it because vBulletin made it easy so why not? But IMHO it's a very minor feature. And since daemonforums isn't all that busy these days the amount of time spent on adding this will likely be far greater than the amount of time it will save people.

Quote:
Then we have to deal with the internal URL references, i.e. a forum post refers to another local forum post. The URL format for posts in Vbulletin and SMF are not identical.
Not sure if this is needed? As long as the old URLs work then the URLs will remain working, right?

The big problem is that the URLs reference a specific incremental ID:

http://daemonforums.org/showthread.php?p=71018

Which may map to a different ID in SMF:

https://www.siralas.nl/forum/index.php?topic=8.0

So how do we know what old ID to map to which new ID? I don't know why it's "8.0" and not just "8"; but the easiest would be to insert the topics/replies with the same IDs and redirect "/showthread.php?p=\d+" to "/forum/index.php?topic=\1.0", assuming that ".0" isn't significant for this purpose.

Quote:
I think the success of the "official" FreeBSD forums is because it is "official", well moderated and provides a more user-friendly alternative to the "archaic" mailing lists that users had to deal with before.
I wouldn't call rewriting people's posts with passive-aggressive edit messages and/or bolding of text just to fit your personal pet peeves/preferences wrt. the use of the English language "good moderation" myself.
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Old 15th June 2021
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I remember when you, (Martin) started these forums after the unofficial but de facto official forums died. Then a few months later they started their official forums, and I think it was the fact that it was official that brought people to it, but it's now so long ago, I don't remember well. Anyway, when you started daemonforums, it was the place to be.

The mods do stuff besides some formatting, that like you, I often find arbitrary and annoying, and yeah, there is some passive aggressive moderating there, but in fairness, I don't see much of that anymore.
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Old 2nd August 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottro View Post
The mods do stuff besides some formatting, that like you, I often find arbitrary and annoying, and yeah, there is some passive aggressive moderating there, but in fairness, I don't see much of that anymore.
Well, it's old drama anyway; I regret bringing it up in the first place. This kind of language pedantry just really bugs me *shrug*.

Hope you're doing well by the way Scott. I still remember that old picture of you sitting on the sofa :-)
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Old 28th August 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J65nko View Post
II prefer the "old" forum format.
Being around long enough to grow old is a good thing. Considering the alternative to not growing old.


Quote:
Originally Posted by J65nko View Post
IAnd then we may need to generate a sitemap for Google and submit it.
I just danced for Google to get my new site indexed. I always get mine here:

https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/


Quote:
Originally Posted by J65nko View Post
Although not that very urgent, I also want to talk to people of archive.org what we should do to get properly (not only the front page) archived/crawled for their Wayback machine.
There is a page you can do it from. I did every page on my Domain individually the other night :

https://web.archive.org/save/

If you have an account you get more features. It should spider the forum threads:


You have something the FreeBSD forums do not. OpenBSD and NetBSD forums.

For my site to compete in ranking with long existing sites like Cooltrainer, I offered things they did not have. Like wallpapers and user screenshots of different WM and DE in use. And I go on tour to promote mine.

They don't have a "me" on staff and one of me is all it takes.
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