Skip to main content
Topic: It is time for a forum software update (Read 226 times) previous topic - next topic

It is time for a forum software update

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.

Re: It is time for a forum software update

Reply #1
Thanks for the headsup txcas... hopefully it will be a smooth transition... 👍
Grant

Re: It is time for a forum software update

Reply #2
@txcas

Will this transition back to SMF give us a return to easy picture posting?  The current system sucks for anyone using IOS.

Re: It is time for a forum software update

Reply #3
@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.

Re: It is time for a forum software update

Reply #4
Wanna bump this to the top..
Grant

Re: It is time for a forum software update

Reply #5

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.

Re: It is time for a forum software update

Reply #6
Thank you for going thru this work Txcas. Looking forward to getting through this transition. Will the new format improve our picture posting procedure?

Re: It is time for a forum software update

Reply #7
@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.

 

Re: It is time for a forum software update

Reply #8
Appreciate your efforts over the lifetime of the forum.  From a Neanderthal, Cro-Magnon hybrid, that is technology challenged, "Go 'head on."
If you have the shot, take it.

Re: It is time for a forum software update

Reply #9
@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.

Sounds good 👍. Thank you.

Re: It is time for a forum software update

Reply #10
Being the administrator can be a thankless job.  So here is a big 'Thank you' for the all the work that goes on to keep the forum up and running !!
Bob
If everything seems under control......you're just not going fast enough