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Old 04-17-2003, 04:38 PM
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Post update on our move to a new board

I'm currently in the process of transferring us over to a new bulletin board, which will offer many vast improvements over our current setup. We are moving away from our current software (Ultimate Bulletin Board) to our new software (vBulletin).

Here is some more info:

When is it going to happen?

Unfortunately, I can't set a firm date. I would like to be completely finished with the transfer by the first of the month, but no promises. Here's what I've been working on in regards to the new board:

1. basic template setup (setting the colors, fonts, etc.) so that they're essentially the same as this board. This is done.

2. search engine optimization -- altering the code of the board so that the search engine spiders (yes, those rascals that are always causing us trouble) can easily access and index all of our posts. This was a serious challenge, with over 100 hours invested. This is done.

3. importing our previous data -- this process takes about 12-18 hours to run, and essentially moves all of our old posts, private messages, profiles, etc. into the new board format. This is done.

4. testing, testing, testing -- and more testing. There are tons of little bugs and annoyances in such a huge move. This is not done.


After I complete step 4, I'm going to recruit a small group of people to test out the new board. Just to put it through the paces, click this, click that, make some new posts, and see if they get any errors or inconsistencies.

Then, I'm going to wipe the whole database clean, and re-import our data, and redo the entire installation process. The board will be inaccessible during this period (12-24 hours, but it could easily be longer). I will repeat: the board will be inaccessible during this period. Don't worry, you will receive plenty of warning prior to this.

Can't we just leave the old board up while the transfer process is happening, so everyone can hang out until the new board is ready? No. People will post tech questions, and we will lose those questions and answers that are posted during the data import process. The best way to do it is to not alter our data in any way while it is being imported. Yes, this means that we will be without a hangout during the import process. Yes, I know this is going to suck, but I'll start it late one night when most of us are sleeping (around 12 AM board time), and work through the night to try to get the bulk of the process finished during a relatively inactive time on the board.


The new board will address the following previously suggested improvements:

1. view count (each thread will display a number representing how many times it has been viewed)

2. improved PM notification (the board can optionally be set to pop up a little notice when you get a PM -- we also have other less annoying options for better PM notification, and an overall more robust PM system)

3. member list -- listing of all members, organizable by certain criteria

4. ignore features (by adding a user to your "ignore list", all posts by that user will not be visible to you. On our current board, the ignore list only works to block PMs from ignored users)

5. elimination of double posts (not installed now, but this is a slight modification that I plan to add)

6. thread rating (rate threads w/1-5 stars) -- all thread ratings will be visible to all users

7. ability to "subscribe" to threads -- similar to the email notification we have now, but considerably more robust and configurable

8. improved search feature -- ability to search all forums at once, plus other extras

9. custom member titles -- a little gimmicky, but we'll try it out and see if we like it

10. a calendar integrated with the board -- goodbye "Upcoming Shows" forum


There are two other suggestions that I can recall we discussed a while back -- one was a little notification if a thread included a picture. Due to the architecture of the new board, this idea isn't going to be immediately implemented. The other was some improvements to the Photo Album (sorting pics, multiple albums, etc.). We can make these improvements to the album, but, it will have to wait until we are stabilized on the new board. The member database for the new board will have to be re-integrated with the album, and I am uncertain as to the best way to accomplish this, or whether we should just import into an entirely new album. We'll see.


There will be an adjustment period while we all get used to the new setup, but the architecture, structure, and language of the new board will mean that it will be easier for us to adjust and customize, as well as more powerful, and more fun.

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Old 04-17-2003, 11:44 PM
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Can I voluteer to push your work to it's limits? I can click click click, and copy and paste error codes faster than a bunny rabbit that has taken 2 hits of speed, snorted 3 lines of coke, shot up with heroin, ate a gram of mushrooms, tooke 356 caffine pills, and 4 acid tabs.

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Old 04-18-2003, 03:41 AM
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[quote]Originally posted by stonedchihuahua:
<strong>Can I voluteer to push your work to it's limits? I can click click click, and copy and paste error codes faster than a bunny rabbit that has taken 2 hits of speed, snorted 3 lines of coke, shot up with heroin, ate a gram of mushrooms, tooke 356 caffine pills, and 4 acid tabs.

</strong><hr></blockquote>


On behalf of 99% of the rest of the members of this board I can only say this:

You need to grow up.

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Old 04-18-2003, 06:38 AM
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Jon,
Will the new board still link the avatars to the photo album like this one does? That is one feature that I use all the time as I imagine others do also. Another thing, I asked you before...will the businesses that advertise on the site be listed by state instead of alpabetical order? I think that would be a feature that everyone would find more useful. Lastly, do you thing that there could be a community album in the photo album that everyone could post into. That is something that I think would come in handy. For example...all of the designs for the t-shirt contest could be grouped into a community album so the pics could be looked at all at once instead of posting on the thread, or linking back to the posters album. If that could be done all that would be needed is a common username and password. I still think that there needs to be a newbie room too, with the capabilities to "read only" the postings in the other forums and not be allowed to post except in the newbie room until so many post have been made. Just a suggestion and my $.02 worth.

Thanks Jon. I still think this is the best site.

Kevin
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Old 04-18-2003, 08:34 AM
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Wow! Seeing as I just finished importing our Access 2 database at work and converted to Access 97 with the intention of upgrading to a new as yet unnamed database program I can certainly relate to how much work this can be, what sounds like a simple conversion process can be exhaustingly complicated even if you use the original vendors software upgrade. Sounds like you have done the lions share of the work already Jon (congrats!), if you need my help you need only ask.
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Old 04-18-2003, 01:12 PM
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[quote]Originally posted by Centerline:
<strong>


On behalf of 99% of the rest of the members of this board I can only say this:

You need to grow up.

Centerline
http://www.hotrodsandhemis.com</strong><hr></blockquote>

Why must you try to make this into a fight, I offered help.

ON behalf of me you need to **** OFF. Especially since I was offering help. ARGG

Now jon is gunna give me crap but OH WELL
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Old 04-18-2003, 05:13 PM
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I think it's hilarious.


HRK <img src="graemlins/pimp.gif" border="0" alt="[pimp]" />
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Old 04-18-2003, 06:37 PM
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Hey if anyone would know about stonedrabbits it would be stoned pup
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Old 04-20-2003, 11:48 AM
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Yes -- I would like to incorporate the same avatar links to photo albums that we have now. I liked that idea. Additionally, I think I'd like to put a little "photo album" link right where we have the "Profile -- Message -- Edit Post -- Quote" links right now, to make it more obvious for new users. Both of these will have to wait until we've re-integrated the album with the new board though.

In regards to listing businesses by state, another good idea. I'm working on a total reorganization of the Hot Rod Search Engine right now, and I'm going to be integrating the Knowledge Base into it too. I will look into the organization by state too, as well as the ability to organize by a few other options as well. Maybe we can do a state listing for all of our US listings, and then also offer an option to sort by some of the more popular countries that visit here.

A single communal album for photos would be convenient, especially in the t-shirt project and other similar activities that I imagine we'll get involved in. It is a little confusing to have those pics spread out over multiple albums, or posted directly in the thread. I'm just a little nervous about that one lone user that will cause trouble with the communal login.
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Old 04-24-2003, 10:05 AM
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WOW, what an undertaking.... <img src="graemlins/crash.gif" border="0" alt="[crash]" /> let me know if I can do anything to help
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