Forum upgrade

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coeus
Forum upgrade

 

coeus

I find this forum to be very user unfriendly. There's no paging for threads forcing mods to open up new threads when debates go long. Posting isn't really intuitive (newer forum systems make it much easier to post links, images, etc). The overall, the interface is not really visually appealing.

I'm a web developer so if you'd like my help, I'll be more than glad to volunteer. There are several open source forums available that operate much better than uBB and even have conversion tools so you won't lose all your current data.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture
coeus

quote:


Originally posted by M. Spector:
[b][url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=15&t=001249]C... out this thread.[/url][/b]

Thanks for the link.

I'd also like to point out, which doesn't seem to be mentioned in that thread, that ubb 6.x branch uses a flat-file system. This is extremely inefficient in comparison to database-driven forums. I just don't recommend uBB, there are there other systems that run more efficiently and have better search and post features.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Babble has, from time to time, a recurring dream (articulated [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=15&t=001116]h... and [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=15&t=001131]h... for example) that the site will somehow, beyond all hope and expectation, achieve what has been called an 'upgrade'. It has been promised like water to Tantalus for generations, only to be withdrawn at the critical moment. Until then, babblers have suffered always to be bridesmaids, and never brides.

So, coeus, as generous and heartfelt your suggestions might be, they have but lighted fools the way to dusty death.

oldgoat

Oh ye of little faith!

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

I believe there was a recent announcement under the "rabble announcement" header, that the site upgrade is coming online on October 23rd. This annoucement has since been replaced by one about Rabble's election blog.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Did you assume that meant October 23rd, 2008?

jas

quote:


Originally posted by coeus:
I find this forum to be very user unfriendly. There's no paging for threads forcing mods to open up new threads when debates go long. Posting isn't really intuitive (newer forum systems make it much easier to post links, images, etc). The overall, the interface is not really visually appealing.

I think a lot of people like Babble because it ISN'T a mere clone of every other message board you can find on the web.

I find the interface very visually appealing, much more so than any other board I've ever encountered, and sorry, but paginated threads suck. Smileys and graphics which try to take the place of intelligent discussion while slowing down loading time also suck. Please don't go this route, Babble. Just my opinion.

Toby Fourre

quote:


Originally posted by jas:
[b]I think a lot of people like Babble because it ISN'T a mere clone of every other message board you can find on the web.

I find the interface very visually appealing, much more so than any other board I've ever encountered, and sorry, but paginated threads suck. Smileys and graphics which try to take the place of intelligent discussion while slowing down loading time also suck. Please don't go this route, Babble. Just my opinion.[/b]


I couldn't agree more. However, the underlying code is terribly out of date. A quick check of validation of just this page gives me 210 Errors, 16 warning(s).

quote:

The following missing or conflicting information caused the validator to perform guesswork prior to validation. If the guess or fallback is incorrect, it may make validation results entirely incoherent. It is highly recommended to check these potential issues, and, if necessary, fix them and re-validate the document.

Unable to Determine Parse Mode!

The validator can process documents either as XML (for document types such as XHTML, SVG, etc.) or SGML (for HTML 4.01 and prior versions). For this document, the information available was not sufficient to determine the parsing mode unambiguously, because:
the MIME Media Type (text/html) can be used for XML or SGML document types
No known Document Type could be detected
No XML declaration (e.g ) could be found at the beginning of the document.
No XML namespace (e.g ) could be found at the root of the document.

As a default, the validator is falling back to SGML mode.

No DOCTYPE found! Checking with default HTML 4.01 Transitional Document Type.

No DOCTYPE Declaration could be found or recognized in this document. This generally means that the document is not declaring its Document Type at the top. It can also mean that the DOCTYPE declaration contains a spelling error, or that it is not using the correct syntax.

The document was checked using a default "fallback" Document Type Definition that closely resembles “HTML 4.01 Transitional”.


[url=http://validator.w3.org/]Check it yourself.[/url]

Babble has been living with these mistakes for a long time. The forum software needs to be re-written from scratch which is costly. It also needs some extra features such as "Preview". I have to post this before I can tell if I messed up or not.

oldgoat

It was rewritten, and sure is costly. Remember, that it's not just babble, but all of rabble.

quote:

I find the interface very visually appealing, much more so than any other board I've ever encountered, and sorry, but paginated threads suck. Smileys and graphics which try to take the place of intelligent discussion while slowing down loading time also suck. Please don't go this route,

Every effort has been made to see that you get your wish. I don't remember if there's a preview feature however. Don't worry though Toby, there are over 15000 people here who are happy to tell you if you mess up.

As far as pagination goes, you could be looking at it in two minutes if I went to the control panel and turned it on. Everyone hates it is why we don't have it.

coeus

I don't get why it needs to be "rewritten". At the very least it could be upgraded to the latest uBB version. Or, it should just switch to some other opensource software. There should be no need to rewrite the thing from scratch.. or write a forum from scratch. That would be a waste of time and money, imo.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Of the several forums I am on, babble is by far my favourite - I love this antique software! [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Toby Fourre

quote:


Originally posted by Boom Boom:
[b]Of the several forums I am on, babble is by far my favourite - I love this antique software! [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [/b]

I love it too, but we won't when it acts up which it will if the script errors aren't fixed. The Internet is moving to some pretty strict coding rules.

Michelle

quote:


Originally posted by Catchfire:
[b]Did you assume that meant October 23rd, 2008?[/b]

Oh hush. [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img] Seriously, we thought it would be done in the spring, but there really are funding issues that were holding us back.

We desperately need a new system. The software is ancient and patched in so many places that it's falling apart for the rest of the site, and for babble too.

We can't upgrade the rest of the site and not the babble software because a) we need an upgrade on babble's software - it gets continuously more wonky as time passes, and b) because we want to be able to integrate the content on babble into the rest of the site and the content on the rest of the site into babble more easily. I mean, we do it now, but it's labour-intensive. With everything on the same platform, it will be much easier.

Not to mention that Drupal is open source, and UBB isn't, which means that we'll be able to work on it, tweak it, and upgrade it without paying huge licensing fees.

BTW, Catchfire, it HAS to be done in October, because that's when we're planning our relaunch! And I've seen a lot of the test pages and test sites and it's really getting there. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img] Really, really! Really!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Much as I love this old software, I accept that the upgrade is coming but I sure hope it's better looking than some phpBB forums that I used to be on.

Michelle

We're doing our best to keep a similar look and "feel" to it, while adding features (like preview) to it. And formatting your text will be SO much easier.

But I know how you feel, Boom Boom. I'm pretty attached to this software too, as much as I hate the back end of it. I'm so used to it, to the feel of it. I know where everything is.

We'll get used to the new one and then it'll become as familiar is this one is to us now. You'll see. (Am I writing this to convince you or me? [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img] )

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I hope it doesn't lose posts automatically like this one does when you close a thread. It is quite frustrating to take time to develop a post and then when you hit ADD REPLY it disappears and a message jumps up saying the thread is closed; especially when the thread is closed for length.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Michelle (or Oldgoat..) will we be able to find old threads by googling "babble _____" using the new software?

coeus

quote:


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]
Not to mention that Drupal is open source, and UBB isn't, which means that we'll be able to work on it, tweak it, and upgrade it without paying huge licensing fees.[/b]

Glad to hear Drupal is what's being considered.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Boom Boom:
[b]Michelle (or Oldgoat..) will we be able to find old threads by googling "babble _____" using the new software?[/b]

Is that how you search for old threads now? [img]eek.gif" border="0[/img]

Michelle

I usually google:

site:rabble.ca/babble keyword keyword keyword

Although, if I have an idea of which forum it's in, and it's an old thread that might not be in google's "memory" anymore, then I just use the babble search function.

triciamarie

quote:


Originally posted by coeus:
[b]Glad to hear Drupal is what's being considered.[/b]

Oh yeah? I have been checking around with some friends of mine who do programming but none of them that I've talked to know much about Drupal.

The question came up when babblers were discussing whether it would be possible to ban a babbler just from one particular forum, or several forums, while still allowing them to post on the rest of the board. Michelle has asked about such a feature but the official word from the upgrade programmer is that it's impossible. Do you happen to know anything about that?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

quote:


Originally posted by M. Spector:
Is that how you search for old threads now? [img]eek.gif" border="0[/img]

You know us Luddites - we prefer to take the long way 'round. [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img]