Author Topic: New forum FAQ thread: "where'd my avatar go?," "why does Nick still fail?," etc.  (Read 12553 times)

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Offline VFS

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Wait, so we can't bookmark threads?  How does that work anyway?

There used to be a link displayed somewhere inside threads that said "Bookmark" and then there was a tab up top near your Personal Messages someplace that said "My Bookmarks".

You can, of course, bookmark them in your browser.

Offline bosk1

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Let me give a rundown of what modifications there were, so that bosk can address them individually if he chooses to, but the quick and safe answer is "none will be back anytime soon, and many not at all".

Some of the modifications that were done that are not in place now:

Global Announcements
Enhanced Profiles
Blogs (already had been uninstalled)
Videos auto-play in posts
Message preview on hover
Users Online Past 24 Hours list on forum index
Ability to change how many posts/threads per page you want to view
Ability to see who is browsing inside a given board, and thread
Colorized membernames across the board (depending on membergroup - example, admins were red)
Color membername legend on the forum main page (these two go hand in hand but are separate modifications)
Ability to bookmark threads
Separation of "Pinned Topics" and "Normal Topics"
Location and age under people's avatars when they post
Quoted image become a link instead of showing the image repeatedly

this is all I can think of offhand.

Even if I wanted to go through them one by one (which I don't!   :biggrin: ), I can't.  We can definitely tell that some things were a problem.  With others, we just don't know.  So a bit down the road (probably a few weeks), I will pick out a few that we believe should be stable and not cause problems, and incorporate them one by one, with long breaks in between so we can monitor exactly how they impact the board.  But I will comment briefly on just a few, from my limited understanding:

-Global Announcements:  This should be a stable mod, but results vary dramatically on different forums.  We aren't 100% sure it was one of the culprits here, but it could have been.  The guy who created it has apparently broken from SMF and is very hostile to them.  And he has not done an update in quite a while (although there is a relatively recent version that says it is updated, the actual files in it are very old, from what I understand, so it isn't a true update).  So there is a lot of risk involved in using this.  That is why I instead created the Rules/Announcements board.

-Enhanced Profiles:  Bad.  Probably created some of the problems.  And most of the stuff in here, while kind of cool, is not by any means essential.  This will not be coming back.

-Ability to change how many posts/threads per page you want to view:  BADBADBADBADBAD!!!  This is actually a standard feature, and I have it set at reasonable numbers right now.  I bumped it up a bit last night from what it was during the day.  Bumping this up increases server usage exponentially.  Do the math:  If viewing a post with some smilies and pictures in it causes, let's day, 5 forum processes to be running in the software to access that post, multiply that by how many posts are visible, and then again by how many users are trying to view that page.  The number spiral up very quickly.)  This was causing a lot of strain when it was more loose.  In fact, I don't know how many of you recall when the forum was temporarily suspended for a couple of hours a few weeks back, but that was inadvertently caused by me playing around with the numbers to see what would happen.  This is something it is not a good idea to mess with.


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Offline Zydar

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What exactly is 'Enhanced Profiles'?

Offline Dimitrius

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What exactly is 'Enhanced Profiles'?
It was this thing we had that our profiles were made to look like a MySpace, Facebook type page, with buddies and everything.
Joe and I in the same squad is basically the virtual equivalent of us plowing a rape van through an elementary school playground at recess.

Offline BlobVanDam

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The most important thing is the little thing next to the username so we know IF YOU"RE ONLINE.
Only King could mis-spell a LETTER.
Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

Offline Zydar

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What exactly is 'Enhanced Profiles'?
It was this thing we had that our profiles were made to look like a MySpace, Facebook type page, with buddies and everything.

Oh. Well, I could live without that.

Offline Dimitrius

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What exactly is 'Enhanced Profiles'?
It was this thing we had that our profiles were made to look like a MySpace, Facebook type page, with buddies and everything.

Oh. Well, I could live without that.
Yeah, most people didn't even care for it anyway.
Joe and I in the same squad is basically the virtual equivalent of us plowing a rape van through an elementary school playground at recess.

Offline emindead

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The most important thing is the little thing next to the username so we know IF YOU"RE ONLINE.
Quoted for truth.

Quick question, is there a chance we can give stars to the threads? To see which ones are really good (besides post count)? Or that would be a huge problem?

Offline VFS

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star ratings is another modification that I tried installing and it would never work properly. I'd say that's a big red flag that indicates no.

Offline Super Dude

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The male icon isn't working.
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Offline Orbert

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I can see your male icon.

Um... I mean...   :\

Online ariich

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I don't actually like the youtube videos playing in posts. It seemed to make pages load slower, and if I actually tried to play the vid in the post, it was always really jerky and the streaming wasn't smooth, so I'd always just go to the youtube page itself anyway.

Offline BlobVanDam

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I don't actually like the youtube videos playing in posts. It seemed to make pages load slower, and if I actually tried to play the vid in the post, it was always really jerky and the streaming wasn't smooth, so I'd always just go to the youtube page itself anyway.

I never had any problems. Maybe it was your browser or computer. And I'd notice if they loaded slower too, as I have about the slowest internet on Earth :lol

ps. just noticed we have the "online" icon under our usernames now. Blobby is happy.
Only King could mis-spell a LETTER.
Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

Offline tri.ad

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Have to agree with ariich here. The link is totally sufficient. Optionally, you can always give a short description of the video, if you want.
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Offline Zydar

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hey Blobby, where's your spinning avatar?

Offline BlobVanDam

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hey Blobby, where's your spinning avatar?

I'm too uninspired to care.
Only King could mis-spell a LETTER.
Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

Offline Zydar

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hey Blobby, where's your spinning avatar?

I'm too uninspired to care.

Alright.

Offline BlobVanDam

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I'll probably get around to it sometime soon, just too busy to care right now.
Only King could mis-spell a LETTER.
Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

Offline antigoon

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This isn't a stab at the powers that be who run the forum in any way, so don't take it as such. I just have a question because I don't know anything about this:

Why are many of these features (which seem commonplace on a lot of other forums) such a problem here?

Offline Nick

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This isn't a stab at the powers that be who run the forum in any way, so don't take it as such. I just have a question because I don't know anything about this:

Why are many of these features (which seem commonplace on a lot of other forums) such a problem here?

I wouldn't say that the features are inherently a problem. The old place had a lot of things contributing to it's death, and the features were only part of that, but it was mainly in conjunction with other things. So we are being very careful with what and when we re-implement them. Bosk is going to try and see what works well and what doesn't and get us back to as many practical bells and whistles he can without chancing what has already happened.
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Offline DarkLord_Lalinc

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Why does Nick still fail?
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Offline bosk1

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This isn't a stab at the powers that be who run the forum in any way, so don't take it as such. I just have a question because I don't know anything about this:

Why are many of these features (which seem commonplace on a lot of other forums) such a problem here?

Parts of the answer are, frankly, beyond my ability to explain because I am not a programmer.  But from what I have learned, I can partly answer the question:
First off, what Nick said is basically right.  The forum crash was caused by almost a "perfect storm" of circumstances.  The modifications themselves contributed, to an extent.  But some of them, while they may not have contributed to the actual crash, just may not be the best things to have for the forum to run uptimally.  Some other sites may use certain features.  But they may not be the best.  Some just put a lot of stain on the server.  We are currently on a shared server, which allows us to keep our costs WAY down.  I forum on a dedicated server, or an official forum that is run by a band or organization that pays programmers a fee to constantly monitor and troubleshoot issues is going to be able to do things that it just is not feasible for us to do.  Remember that, even though we have close to 2,000 users (we deleted about 250 or so a few weeks back that were completely inactive), this is a volunteer site run by fans.  Another problem is that a lot of modifications are made by independant programmers.  That may mean there are compatibility issues with the forum software.  Even more likely, it may mean that modifications are not necessarily compatible with one another.  And also likely, it may mean that when the forum software is updated, the modification is no longer compatible unless the modification's original creator (or some other independent person) makes an updated version that is compatible again.  Now, of course, we could in theory stay with this version of the forum software forever and never update it, and only install modifications that are compatible with this version.  Problem with that is, eventually, security features and other necessary things become outdated and create a completely separate set of risks, so that isn't really a good idea.  For now, the best policy is to take things slow and to research any options we think we might want to include and to monitor them to make sure they aren't creating problems if/when we implement them. 
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Offline PlaysLikeMyung

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Why does Nick still fail?

Quoted for emphasis.

It's still a huge question

Offline antigoon

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This isn't a stab at the powers that be who run the forum in any way, so don't take it as such. I just have a question because I don't know anything about this:

Why are many of these features (which seem commonplace on a lot of other forums) such a problem here?

Parts of the answer are, frankly, beyond my ability to explain because I am not a programmer.  But from what I have learned, I can partly answer the question:
First off, what Nick said is basically right.  The forum crash was caused by almost a "perfect storm" of circumstances.  The modifications themselves contributed, to an extent.  But some of them, while they may not have contributed to the actual crash, just may not be the best things to have for the forum to run uptimally.  Some other sites may use certain features.  But they may not be the best.  Some just put a lot of stain on the server.  We are currently on a shared server, which allows us to keep our costs WAY down.  I forum on a dedicated server, or an official forum that is run by a band or organization that pays programmers a fee to constantly monitor and troubleshoot issues is going to be able to do things that it just is not feasible for us to do.  Remember that, even though we have close to 2,000 users (we deleted about 250 or so a few weeks back that were completely inactive), this is a volunteer site run by fans.  Another problem is that a lot of modifications are made by independant programmers.  That may mean there are compatibility issues with the forum software.  Even more likely, it may mean that modifications are not necessarily compatible with one another.  And also likely, it may mean that when the forum software is updated, the modification is no longer compatible unless the modification's original creator (or some other independent person) makes an updated version that is compatible again.  Now, of course, we could in theory stay with this version of the forum software forever and never update it, and only install modifications that are compatible with this version.  Problem with that is, eventually, security features and other necessary things become outdated and create a completely separate set of risks, so that isn't really a good idea.  For now, the best policy is to take things slow and to research any options we think we might want to include and to monitor them to make sure they aren't creating problems if/when we implement them. 

A ha! Thanks for the detailed answer, Mr. 1! It makes more sense now.

Offline millahh

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This isn't a stab at the powers that be who run the forum in any way, so don't take it as such. I just have a question because I don't know anything about this:

Why are many of these features (which seem commonplace on a lot of other forums) such a problem here?

Parts of the answer are, frankly, beyond my ability to explain because I am not a programmer.  But from what I have learned, I can partly answer the question:
First off, what Nick said is basically right. 

Well, that would cause a forum to crash...   :biggrin:
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Offline YtseBitsySpider

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how do I get my stars back?
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Offline VFS

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how do I get my stars back?

the five stars that are showing under your name already?

Offline Tick

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Offline YtseBitsySpider

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Interesting.
I see no stars.
On myself or anyone else but Playslikemyung and Nick.
most posters have the 3, 4, 5 little rectangles.

Is that something disabled at my end that prevents me from seeing the stars?
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Offline VFS

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Interesting.
I see no stars.
On myself or anyone else but Playslikemyung and Nick.
most posters have the 3, 4, 5 little rectangles.

Is that something disabled at my end that prevents me from seeing the stars?



I use default theme. I'd say the theme the team went with doesn't support some features. A shame because whatever server resources, if any, it requires to keep track of these things is wasted in showing them only to people using the default theme prsently, I guess.

Offline YtseBitsySpider

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hmm thanks.

So I should change from the black to the white theme then?
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Offline VFS

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Not unless you want to see the stars, or do whatever else the black theme might be missing. Not sure if it's missing anything but that, though. Probably not.

Then again, the black theme has the thread hovering preview modification coded into it, but default doesn't.

So, uh, I guess you'll have to pick and choose until the person who is doing these things these days takes care of that.

Offline YtseBitsySpider

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well there we go......

isn't that nice..and white....and silvery blue...almost looks like default WinAmp colour scheme.
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Offline Tick

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Dark screen and rectangles kick ass ! :metal

 :biggrin:
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