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Yo Dawg, I Heard You Like Forum Software


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OK so I said I'd do this for Nick quite a while ago but I'm shit at life so it's only being done now. Fuck off.

 

Putting my findings in a thread so everyone can have a nose and provide feedback.

 

I started out with some assumptions:

  • Must be able to replicate most of the current features of IPB e.g. reputation, custom user titles, chatbox etc.
  • Must be relatively easy to setup and maintain.
  • Must be extensible with plugins and shit. Bitches love plugins.
  • Be reliable (which rules out anything in beta)
  • ???
  • Profit

The most promising candidate I've found so far is myBB. I opted for open source stuff as I know IPBs support has been lacking. This stuff has become so user friendly that I don't think paying for anything other than web hosting and the accompanying support is necessary. Once the forum software is installed on the server and running smoothly then I don't see any need for tech support to intervene unless it's for backups, downtime or major issues.

 

Anyway here's the link: https://mybb.com/

 

Also Flarum which is in beta but looks pretty slick: http://flarum.org/

 

There's also phpBB which is kinda basic if I'm being honest. However, it is very moddable if we want to go down that route: http://www.try-phpbb.com/31x/

 

In terms of preserving as much of the original forum as possible I'm not certain that's going to be possible. If the softwares becoming unreliable then I can only imagine it's either a teardown job or stick with what we've got. Migrating user info shouldn't be problem but post counts and other stuff that's close to peoples hearts will likely vanish.

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but post counts and other stuff that's close to peoples hearts will likely vanish.

 

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Kudos on the work put in man, but that sounds awfully drastic.

 

Nick I'm not sure what kind of headaches you're dealing with at the moment, and obviously you're the one left shovelling the shit, so if it's become untenable then obviously I and I'm sure the handful of remaining Hondonians will support your decision, but Jesus it would be an awful shame to lose over a decade of history.

 

Wait I just reread your post. Is it just post counts, or posts as well?

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cheers shane, much obliged - and yeah, you've got most of it, the signatures once per page is big for me, but we can work on that stuff i'm sure. and i've no doubt there's software to ease the transition without loss of post data/etc, what i'd prolly end up doing (after you've fooled with it a bit) is use our site to setup a dummy one, then try copying it all over to see what gets messed up in the transition, how stable it is etc

 

Kudos on the work put in man, but that sounds awfully drastic. Nick I'm not sure what kind of headaches you're dealing with at the moment, and obviously you're the one left shovelling the shit, so if it's become untenable then obviously I and I'm sure the handful of remaining Hondonians will support your decision, but Jesus it would be an awful shame to lose over a decade of history. Wait I just reread your post. Is it just post counts, or posts as well?

 

it basically goes like this:

 

- we started out on ikonboard or something that i don't even know if it's still around

- around 2000/2001 i wanna say, yahve followed one tech from that site to the creation of invisionboard, which we currently use. we were early adopters back when the software was promised to be free.

- i took over & they grandfathered our old deal for a while, even by the mid to late aughts when they were kinda squeezing us out (only giving 1 GB of space), as they clearly wanted to move onto commercial sites by then

- we bailed a few years back when they decided to change their TOS to force updates after a certain period of time, claiming that older versions of their software could be vulnerable to hacks & thereby endanger others on said server. they also asked me to take down the shoutbox & disable users' ability to use HTML for these reasons, none of which i found acceptable.

- when we left, the software was no longer free - but they agreed to a one-time fee of something (i forget but i think it was like $150 or so?) for a lifetime license. we did a fundrasier for it & as always, ya'll came through.

- we migrated to a site that was lousy with downtime and lost our data when i said i was leaving.

- we're with another one that's not bad, but their tech support knows nothing of our setup. this keeps me worried that we could again lose data one day, even with the manual backups i keep now.

- we can no longer update IPB cause i found out recently - surprise! - they don't honor that lifetime license anymore, and want a subscription fee.

 

so yeah, we're stable for now but virtually any upgrade i'd want is gonna cost us up front, and then our server (who i get a deal with by paying a year up front as well) could very well not be super useful if said update bricks us. ive been trying to make this place more automated & self-sufficient, as i'm not always gonna be around and would very much like to have others with the keys to keep it running, once it's stable - so you can see where all this is unnerving.

 

enter shane, with our possible options. seriously, thanks man, i really do appreciate any help here i can get.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So I got this up and running finally...

 

http://www.testing.shanekitt.com/mybb/

 

Take a nose around and see what you think. Try to do as much as possible. Create multiple user accounts, create threads, post images etc. Keep it somewhat SFW as I'm not sure what my webhosts rules are on that sort of thing.

 

I have admin credentials for you, Nick. Let me know where I should send them.

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So any thoughts?

 

I've downloaded that merge system (it isn't bundled with the main forum software) that supports imports from IPB but I think the version that Hondos runs isn't supported. It's open source though so I'm sure the community has the answer to this problem somewhere.

 

Edit:

 

Derp...

 

Apparently Hondos runs v3.2 of IPB if that wee line of text in the footer is to be believed. Nick, can you confirm this? If so the merge system should work. Can you send me whatever IPB exports so we can test this out?

Edited by crimsonfire
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I've had a gander and so far I've successfully:

  • Made a profile.
  • Made a post.
  • Quoted a post.
  • Started a thread.
  • Posted an image.
  • Posted an animated gif.
  • Embedded a video.

No issues so far other than the images not auto-resizing.

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apologies, crim - you're doing us a solid here, and i've been shitty about testing things out/using that logon, current post at work has me away from PC's at the moment.

 

Apparently Hondos runs v3.2 of IPB if that wee line of text in the footer is to be believed. Nick, can you confirm this? If so the merge system should work. Can you send me whatever IPB exports so we can test this out?

 

yes, it's IPB 3.2.3 specifically; as far as exports - i'd need to know exactly what it's looking for! i imagine postdata, but bear in mind when i'm running backups, it's a raw FTP dump of the site's folders every month, the last backup had exactly 439MB (41,715 Files, 2,777 Folders) in said forum folder.

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I looked at the docs for the Merge script and it assumes you have the myBB software and the source forum installed on the same server with access to the same database. During the merge process it asks for the database server info and pulls everything in itself. Pretty nifty.

 

According to the forums there are hiccups sometimes where it doesn't quite pull everything in but by and large it works without any major issues. There's quite a few threads on their support forum of people migrating from IPB 3. The only issue seems to be recreating the user profiles after they're copied across but they seem to have fixed this with an update since.

 

They've a fairly helpful and active community with a ton of dudes creating plugins and skins too. Looks promising.

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