@jvw2008 The new software opens the possibility of bringing back a forum media library. If we can configure it to be available to only donators, I will definitely give it shot and see how it affects our storage and bandwidth consumption.
The forum software migration will start on Friday, January 21 at 8:00 AM Eastern. The site will be down during the migration process. The migration will happen in two phases. Here is what to expect: Phase 1:
The forum database and software will be migrated to Simple Machine Forum (SMF) version 2.0.19
The forum portal page will not be functional until Phase 2.
The forum layout on mobile devices will not be optimal, it will suck. Because most of you use mobile devices to access the site, I will only wait 3 days to proceed with Phase 2.
Some of the forum functionality will be missing until Phase 2.
Phase 2: (Monday, January 24 at 8:00 AM Eastern)
The forum software will be upgraded to SFM 2.1 RC4.
If you did not log in to the forum after Phase 1 and before Phase 2, you will have to reset your forum password. Sorry, we could not find a fix for this issue.
Software add-ons that extend the forum functionality will be installed and configured.
Mobile browsing will return to what we are used to.
The forum portal page will return. This will happen live, so expect to see things out of place and changing while I recreate and configure the portal. It should take a couple of hours to get it finished.
@jvw2008 I will look into that after the migration. The reason we don't host pictures here is because they will exponentially increase the amount of storage and bandwidth used by the forum, and that comes with a cost. It is my goal to keep the forum free.
When I created this forum almost 12 years ago, I chose Simple Machine Forums (SMF) software. SMF had the functionality we needed and had tons of plug-ins to extend its functionality. The main problem with SMF was that installing some plug-ins could break the forum because they were making changes to the forum’s software code. We have done two major software updates to the forum, both to software forks of SMF. We went that route because the forks fixed the plug-ins design issue in SMF, SMF development was slow, and the software forks introduced better functionality. Currently we are using ElkArte, but development of ElkArte has slowed down quite a bit. Fortunately, SMF is now on par with ElkArte in terms of features and functionality, and we are still at a point where I can migrate the forum back to SMF. The mods and I have done some testing of the migration process and only found one major problem. The migration needs to happen in stages; first we move from ElkArte to SMF 2.0. That process works perfectly but SMF 2.0 lacks some of the features that we are used to. SMF 2.1 RC4 has the functionality we want, but it also introduces a different encryption mechanism for our passwords. That means the following:
ElkArte user passwords will work after migrating to SMF 2.0.
When users log to SMF 2.0, their passwords become compatible with SMF 2.1 RC4.
After upgrading from SMS 2.0 to SMF 2.1 RC4, any user that did not login to SMF 2.0 first, will have to reset their forum password. That is a problem that I have not been able to avoid.
The plan is as follows:
Migrate forum from ElkArte to SMF 2.0.
Recreate the forum portal page.
Install SMF plug-ins that are equivalent to the ones we are now running on ElkArte.
Leave the forum running SMF 2.0 for about two weeks to give people a change to log in and get their passwords migrated to the new SMF encryption.
Upgrade SMF 2.0 to SMF 2.1 RC4.
The migration process will start in January 2022. I will keep you updated with the dates and times the forum will be updated.
Quite a few new members have issues posting on the forum for the first time. This because in order to prevent bots and other idiots from bombarding the forum with SPAM, we require verification of the first 5 posts. After your 5th post, the verification stops automatically. In order for the verification to work, you can't have any popup blockers enabled or you will never see window asking for verification. We know this is inconvenient, but it has helped us tremendously in preventing the forum from getting spammed.
I have been asked many times for ways other than PayPal to submit site donations. We tried to use credit cards processors, but they refused to accept donation payments for this site because it is gun related. The other option we now have is crypto currency. This will be a manual process. If you send a donation using crypto, please send me a message so I can update your profile. Here are the addresses you can send your donation to:
I am a life member, and also enrolled a few members a long time ago. The NRA has good things and bad things like anything else. I love their safety education programs. I used Eddie the Eagle to teach my kids to stay away from guns, until it was time to teach them how to use them safely. I became certified as a NRA instructor for rifle/pistol/shotgun/black powder, and also got their Range Safety Officer certification. I used those certifications to teach Boy Scouts how to use firearms. To me that is the good side of the NRA, teach our youth about gun safety and they will support the 2A for life. The bad part is their constant request for money. A few of you approached me because of the sensitivity of this subject, and the concern that it could become a pissing contest. I hate censorship and don´t like enforce it here. I already deleted my Twitter and Instagram accounts because of their censorship BS, and and Facebook will be next. From the beginning this forum has been for the most part self-moderated. Please keep the discussion civil and we should be able to keep this post going.