New FORUM UPGRADE Mon 13 Dec 2010

Discussion in 'XENFORO Forums Guide' started by Kiwi Cruiser, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. Hi there, GT Riders!

    Well, YOUR repeated requests for new features and improvements to the Forums have steadily painted us into a corner.
    There are many important elements missing from the current Forums - not least of which are;
    - image resizing that handles over-sized photos automatically
    - full integration with FaceBook, including insertion of your Post details into your FaceBook news items
    - integration with other social media sites
    - a built-in Event Calendar within which all Registered Users can list upcoming events
    - user Blogs
    - user photo Albums, Friends, special interest Group Messaging
    - online Chat
    - Etc

    At the same time, the problems of keeping the current phpBB3 forum system going, let alone make it smarter, have combined to push the webmaster over the edge... Just doing a simple version update is a nightmare because we've got so many custom code modifications, plus 3 different design templates in operation...

    So, here's whats happening...

    We're finally moving to a fully-fledged commercial Forum, CMS & Blog system called vBulletin 4 Publishing Suite.
    - this has readily available Tech Support. It comes complete with all the features on your Wish List, and solves all maintenance issues.

    This change represents a significant investment in my time and and David's money. Thus far, I've personaly devoted over a week of my time to;
    - installing and configuring the software
    - setting up all the new features
    - doing trial data conversions
    - testing that it is all working as expected

    New User registrations are now disabled on the old GT-Rider forum.
    We are now at the point where you can all take a preview of the new system.

    1.) All Registered User Accounts have been imported into the new system
    2.) You can set up your Profile in the new system prior to the changeover
    3.) New system uses different password encryption, so you will need to reset your password!
    4.) To get started, go to:
    5.) Enter your email address
    6.) Click "Request New Password" and your new password will be sent to your email address
    7.) Open the email and click the "To reset Your Password" link
    8.) This generates a new password which is emailed to you
    9.) Open the email, and your new password and User Id is listed
    10.) Enter those details in the Login boxes at top right

    To only preview the new Forums:

    FORUM CHANGE-OVER DATE: Monday 13th Dec 2010
    - Posting will be closed on the old forum on evening of Sunday 12th
    - all posts will then be imported to new system
    - late Sunday night, the new Forum will be moved to

    Design Themes: for those who liked the dark design on the old Forum - yes, we will add one of those once the transition is completed.


    Links in old posts will need updating. The database import does not convert the [youtube] links to the vBulletin

    format, so either you can make the edit for each of your video links in your Posts, or I will find and edit them as time permits.

    Problems? you can email the webmaster who will cheerfully assist you with any transition issues you might encounter.

    Kind Regards

    aka Kiwi Cruiser
    [email [email protected]][email protected][/email]
  2. Hi 2wheels

    Yes, FaceBook is of course optional. Whilst you and I may have an aversion to it, there are a large number of fanatical FaceBook users out there who are unable to fuction on a daily basis without it... Who'd a thunk it? :)

    Photos in Posts:
    The current method of setting up images display in posts is the most tedious, frustrating and "pain-in-the-ass" aspect of the entire Trip Report concept. The degree of difficulty is an order of magnitude greater to manage than interstellar exploration, having the mother-in-law stay for a week, or Full Moon PMT week.

    If I give you an easy way to add trip report photos directly into your Posts and they are automatically uploaded to our server, will you then;
    - Write More Trip Reports???

    The power to make this possible is in my hands.... actually, at my very fingertips...

    Mate, its a done deal.


  3. Hi Ben, a weeks work well spent.

    Can you please outline the perceived usage of the blogs in the new V4 site.

    I see that each member can have their own blogs and it would seem any member can view other member blogs. However, if people choose to blog instead of raising a new topic / thread on the forum, some folks might get a bit lost as to where to discuss a trip report or winge about the quality of sump plugs.

    Apologies in case I have missed any overview discussion on this but it might be timely to appreciate the intended concepts.


  4. Hi Ally

    Good question... and I'm SO glad you asked...
    I've been somewhat busy in recent days and had not quite got to "Blogs" yet... :mrgreen:
    - well, to be fair, I DID add a "Blogs" menu item in the new content management section area, and was planning to slip in a bit of content on the possibilties...

    Ok, here's how I see it perhaps fitting in and complementing existing material...

    1.) We have an extensive range of Categories within the currents Forums which caters to Trip Reports and all popular general discussions
    2.) We've previously had a rudimentary Profile area, but that now includes user Photo Albums and much more...
    3.) What's been missing is the "Personal Diaries" aspect of life here, experiences in living, travelling, doing business - the overall existential aspects.

    So, a Blog might well be a place for your intriguing individual view of the world, as a person with a passion for motorcycling, living and travelling in S.E. Asia... if you've got some insights, anecdotes, hilarities and experiences that don't fit the predefined Forum slots - maybe a Blog could be a good way of sharing that with others?

    For example;
    - I'd intended to use it from a webmaster perspective, to explain the rationale behind some of the things that we are doing on the site.
    - David might choose to share some aspects of map-making and cartography, and outline his plans for new maps and map updates...
    - Guy's like Pico have an entertaining writing style without an obvious outlet in our particular community

    I'd sure be interested to read some articles on the artistic aspects of photography in the context of our S.E. Asian environment... Or learn about the pitfalls of business ventures, or getting a house built... If its instructive, illustrative, amusing and entertaining, perhaps even thought-provoking, its going to add some flavour...

    You might note that I've tried to articulate some philosophies relating to Content by way of an acceptable use policy? (new site) This is where we think the website content ought to be positioned to do the most good for the most people... The overall aim is promoting motorcycle touring within the region by empowering people with good information. That information does not necessarily have to be 100% motorcycle-specific - it might be language, culture, cuisine, legal or whatever...

    So as long as the observations contained with a personal Blog fit clearly within the "family rated" parameters, there ought not be any issues, as far as I can see.

    NB: The one thing we don't want to see is any imitation of the trivia that is rampant on some other English-language ex-pat forums... :roll:

    Whilst change is an irritant in many cases, its important to note that over the past 3 years we've steadily increased website visitors from 6000 per month to 55,000 last month. That is primarily because we've improved classification of content, re-ordered it and made it more accessible - as well as increasing its volume.

    I am very confident that the next round of changes will bring about further growth in use of the site by an ever-broader range of people. Offering a different menu and flavour of content will enrich the user experience... Theoretically... :crazy:
  5. Great 'cause Photobucket et al were a big pain in the behind... new forum looking good.

    Should be pretty ez to write a little script that does the [youtube] ->

    conversion. In fact, the v4 software might have a setting that allows you to set aliases for tags ( totally guessing out of the blue here, I don't know anything about this bb)
  6. Hi Nikster

    Thanks for the positive comments. I've done some homework on this and "The Law of Diminishing Returns" is likely to prevail. Given the small number of posts with video, and the complication of differing BB Code format and function, its probably faster to just manually edit the several dozen video links than it is to write and implement a conversion routine!

    I've researched the phpBB to vBulletin conversions, no one else seems to have pioneered a reliable automation of the BB code conversion either...

    Here's the problem;
    Original phpBB3:
    Data Import to vB4 Gives:
     [youtube:3i24d5bl][media=youtube]RRQucSwUT1k[[/media] /youtube:3i24d5bl]
    Correct vB4 Code:
    There is a Tool for straight "search & replace" of errant codes but the issue is a LOT more complex than simple repalcement because;
    - each [youtube] link is assigned a unique code ;
    - the

    code identifies the TYPE of video plus the unique video ID
    $replacer = array(
    ""	=> "",
    ""	=> "",
    ""	=> "",
    ""	=> "",
    ""	=> ""
    Not sure if the tool supports "wildcard" searchs, but there's a reference to it handling "regular expression" variables... Regardless, its seems like you'd spend more hours figuring out that than actually doing it manually :)

  7. Ben,

    When do we need to request to reset the password? Can it be done now or do we need to wait till tomorrow morning once the new system is operational?
  8. Hi Auke

    As per;
    2.) You can set up your Profile in the new system prior to the changeover

    I closed "New Registrations" on the old forum a few days ago, and all Registered user accounts were imported into the new system at that time.

    As its possible to repeatedly import the old database in subsections, its enabled me to give you a head-start on the change-over; I will do a final update of Posts, Messages etc tonight.

    - the old Forum will be relocated into: and remain accessible (I hope!)
    - the new Forum will move to:

    At the same time, I will implement a Permanent Redirection script so that any "bookmarked" links to individual Forums and "sticky posts" will automatically be rerouted to the new location/s.

    That's about as seamless as I can make it, I think...

  9. Hi Ben,

    Yes, that is what I understood also and so I went to: and requested a new password (I think 4 times now) to be able to log into the new system. However, up to now no email has arrived in my inbox with the link to reset my password. Guess I am doing something wrong but scratch my head as I thought I followed your guidelines.
  10. Hi Auke - manually reset and password details emailed to your gmail account

  11. I did a password reset, or whatever you want to call it, about two days ago. Following Ben's directions, it worked fine. :clap:
  12. Check your spam folder. Mine went in there! :-(
  13. Thanks for the tip. Indeed I found the four email messages in the Spam folder. However, in the meantime Ben had provided me already with a new password so can log in now without problems.
  14. New forum looks great!

    Some issues I found:

    - As others said, the change password email ends up in the Spam folder. Not expecting that on Gmail since all the other mail in that folder is actually spam. I marked it as "not spam" and would ask others with Gmail accounts to do the same.

    - Default display of threads is threaded. It used to be flat, and it should be flat by default. Threaded is a weird mode where you only see one post, and the replies as a tree on top and you have to click on each one to see it. IMO not useful at all.

    - Do I have to do image verification for every post even though I am logged in? This is my first post in the new system, so I hope not...
  15. Hi Nikster

    Thanks for taking the time to make those constructive suggestions. The vBulletin Suite software is HUGE compared to the old system. Figuring out what needs to be tweaked for otimum results will take some time coz there is only me... Figuring out where the control setting is take some deducing too - some items are in Board Settings, others are in Usergroup Settings!

    Threaded Display: now off by default
    Image Verification: default was "On" for Posts, now turned off


  16. I also waited for the new password and found it in my junk folder.
    So this is my first post on the new site, haven't really checked out all the possibilities yet but want to say that it's great that my favorite site is new and improved!
    I'll try and post a pic later.

    Big thanks to David to make this possible!

    Now where's the "post reply button"???? - Just kidding!
  17. Guess I have to reset my Profile, I'm "KZ" with about 850 posts under my keyboard, will do that later.
    Hope I'm not a "revered old git" again or something like that?! ;-)
  18. wow, a new upgraded version!

    Kinda lost at the moment, will need time to explore thru it, and see whats cookin'.

    All the best bro, congratulations!

    Abg Acid
  19. Uploading pics is easy now, even I figured it out!

    Attached files 262665=35-VTR250j.
  20. Hi Ron

    How To Find All Posts? Try looking in the left menu in your Profile :)
    - there a menu option that says "Find All Posts"

  21. How many posts do i need to make before i can post an avatar?
  22. Well Ben, I just tried my first new post, and I thought all was well. Quite easy really. BUT, after I submitted the post I tried to find it. Not so easy. I tried "New Posts", it didn't show. I tried "What's New", it didn't show. If I go to the Northern Thailand Trip Reports it does show in the list. What am I doing wrong? I don't want to search all the topics to see newly posted items.

    Also, I used photos larger than usual as I thought they would resize (uploading form my computer), they didn't.

    When I tried to preview my post before posting I got an error message to the effect "Your post exceeds the 10XXXX character limit" unable to post. I had to go back and delete some of my verbose comments.

    Other than that, everything is fine.
  23. Download for Windows 7 resizing pics.It`s a right click and resize 1 or a whole batch at the same time.

    Or if you have Windows XP,the download is on the far right of the page.
  24. Hi Dave

    New Posts - I wrote a note on this earlier. :)

    Here's the secret - you're starting with a situation where everything is new, because the software does not "know" anything about your previous reading habits.

    What you need to do is go to the Forum Actions menu, and select "Mark Forums Read." That resets your counters to zero by ensuring that the system thinks you've read every post ever made.

    From that point onwards, the posts you've read are logged in the database, allowing accurate display of Whats New / Unread.

    In addition to that, this remains consistent between different computers, unlike the previous system which used cookie-based record keeping.

    The "total characters" limit must be the default setting - I'll find and expand that for those verbose outpourings! I'd not want your style cramped by lack of writing space!


  25. Thanks Ben, I thought I did that, but obviously I must not have. I will try again. The rest of the post went quite well, good job.

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