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brizzo

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Well this has been a long time coming, but we are in the final stages of getting ready to switch the Arcade-Projects Forums to XenForo forum software!!

We have had select users privately testing the new software fully loaded with our data for the past week and a bit. The group was integral at moving this project forward and ensuring we have a smooth rollout. Lots of great feedback and bug hunting!

Overall we have been able to keep almost every single feature users on AP currently used with Burning Board. There are a few things that BB does better, so time was spent to customize XF to be able to do those same things. A lot of time was invested to write the scripts to convert our data from BB to XF, because there are no off the shelf solutions that would have allowed us to keep all our data in tact.

Migrated Data:
  • Users, Following, Conversations, Forums, Threads (Watched, Polls), Tags, Posts, Edit History, Likes, Avatars, Attachments.
  • Convert data within messages, including: bbcode, quotes, attachments, user @ mention tags, updating links to new url formatting.
  • User options including notification/alerts, email subscriptions, and passwords are retained and do not need to be reset.
New Features:
  • Light Mode / Dark Mode is now supported (look for icon in top right of page header, or bottom left of page footer)
  • Easy image attachments -- Uploaded images can now be up to 8mbyte in size and 5000x5000px. Images will be automatically re-sized server side to max width of 1600px and limited to maximum of 2mbyte after conversion.
  • Searching actually provides useful results!
  • Images embedded from third party hosts will be downloaded and converted to an attachment (not enabled on test site currently)
There are so many more features that we can use to improve the experience on AP, but we are going to start with the basics so we can log and measure how XF runs on the server before adding 3rd party addons. For example we are going to implement a marketplace feedback system, and question/answer thread types where solutions can be upvoted (different from Likes). We are also going to implement a "front page" to Arcade-Projects, where we can feature articles, write ups, new projects and other updates :D

With the switch to XF, the links used to access threads/posts/forums/users/attachments will change, but we have created scripts to automatically redirect old urls to new urls properly.

I do not have a specific time/date when this will occur but it will be in the next few days. Once it starts the site will be offline for 3-6 hours.
 

Aurich

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Excellent! We're actually looking at switching to XenForo ourselves over at Ars Technica. Been really happy with the level of support available for migration. Our forum is over 20 years old and has a ton of data, so it's a bit of a headache to wade into it all. Been very reassuring to see the resources available.

XenForo seems like it has most of the features we want, and is extensible enough to add the ones it doesn't.

I'm not only happy to hear this great community is getting better tools, I'm very personally interested in seeing how the transition feels here.
 

AMS

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Haha! Looking fresh
 

xodaraP

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9A73B63F-AD3D-45C8-BAC0-43676B702715.jpeg
 

pacoarcade

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Good move, I ran XenForo during several years without issues. Now we can search inside a thread :)

Nice to hear attachments are welcomed in the forum, some time ago I read Darksoft recommending to host them outside to save space. This is a problem when the image hosting service dies leaving the threads with broken image links. There is an addon to get all the already linked images and convert to attachments.

Looking forward for the marketplace, it will be really useful.
 

pacoarcade

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I've noticed some issues:
  • The user deleted posts now appear.
  • Links in posts are almost indistinguishable from normal text -- edit: this happens only in the editor.
I find the post text a bit more difficult to read than before in light mode. This contrast checker tool is very useful for checking if the contrast is accessible.
 
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brizzo

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The user deleted posts now appear.
Can you give an example where you see that, where you could not before?

Links in posts are almost indistinguishable from normal text -- edit: this happens only in the editor.
Can you show me a screenshot? Links in the editor for me are the same color as regular text.

I find the post text a bit more difficult to read than before in light mode. This contrast checker tool is very useful for checking if the contrast is accessible.
The current text color / background color ratio is 10.69:1 per that tool, where as the old theme was 5.24:1
 

pacoarcade

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With the old forum, when you deleted a post it appeared in a box marked as "deleted post". Those deleted posts now appear as posted and you have to delete them again.

This is normal text
This is a link (once posted it appears underlined)

ap-link.png


Nice then! maybe the text in the quoted box with darker background and smaller text is what makes it more difficult to read, along with the lighter colored Edit - Report - etc links.
 

Sp33dFr34k

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Nice, good job! Maybe I missed it, but will there be a nice feedback function now linked to ones profile as well rather than seperate threads? :)
 

deibit

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Nice! what's the meaning behind the user tags / colors in the profile? (legendary, champion, whatever...)
 

brizzo

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With the old forum, when you deleted a post it appeared in a box marked as "deleted post". Those deleted posts now appear as posted and you have to delete them again.
Ahh this is an excellent catch! There were only 26 posts in this state, with 2 belonging to you. I have set the remaining posts deleted. Thanks!
This is normal text
This is a link (once posted it appears underlined)
Another good catch! I will fix this css bug in the morning. I will also make the quoted text color the same color as the rest of the post. The links along the bottom of the post are intentionally lighter and darken on mouse over.
Nice, good job! Maybe I missed it, but will there be a nice feedback function now linked to ones profile as well rather than seperate threads? :)
See the original post, this is coming later.
Nice! what's the meaning behind the user tags / colors in the profile? (legendary, champion, whatever...)
On the previous forum we had 'user ranks', that were the defaults installed with the forum.

The new rank hierarchy is (new entries in bold)

New User
Beginner
Student
Enthusiast
Professional
Grand Master (previously 'Master')
Champion
Enlightened
Legendary
Immortal


The formula for how these ranks are assigned will remain undisclosed for now, but they are determined by your post count and other factors :)
 
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brizzo

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Another couple things worth mentioning:
  • When using search, if you have 'everything' selected this will also include conversation messages. Do not be alarmed if you see conversation results in search.
  • On burning board you could view when a participant last read the conversation, this is not present on Xenforo. Will implement a customization for this tomorrow.
 
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