Major Forum Software Update

Happy holidays, everyone!

As discussed a couple times over the past few years, the version of vbulletin we are on is very old and in need of an update.

The time is finally here, for real this time, and the next reply will have some details.

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We’ve decided to migrate over to a more modern and actively developed discussion system called Discourse. You can check out the main features here: https://www.discourse.org/features. They have an active community using the software, if you want to poke around and see how it works. A few cool things: better mobile experience, better editor, embedded media, community moderation, better spam prevention, 2-factor authentication, easier feature/security upgrades (one-click!), Social logins, etc.

It will take some time to explore the new system; things will function differently; please take some time to learn and figure things out. As we start to use it, we will tweak some of the settings to work best for our community.

I’ve been working on modifying the existing vBulletin > Discourse migration scripts to account for some of our customizations in vBulletin, including CD-Media. All existing users, forums, threads, posts, polls and private messages will be migrated over.

Team numbers, avatars and signatures will migrate over. You’ll need to decide what to do about your WhoAmI photo, since there isn’t a place for it in Discourse. They also provide for profile pages rather than signatures inline with the discussion, to prevent too much repeated information on the discussion threads

CD-Media will be integrated into the category / topic discussions. Each old photo and whitepaper will live in threads located in the Extra Discussion category – that category will be split into Photo Gallery (with a Robot Showcase category) and White Papers. Existing tags from CD-Media have been applied to those threads.

There are features that won’t be moved over (spotlights, reputation system, user announcements, etc.) but there are new features that help take their place (badge system, trust system, etc.). We will expand on these as we get used to the new software.

As you can imagine, the migration script takes quite a while to run. I plan on shutting the site down and redirecting over to a temporary status site where you can see progress updates & estimates on when the site will be back online. The last test migration I did took about 55 hours.

When the site does come back online, you’ll need to request a new password from the Login screen using your email address or username. (note: Usernames with spaces are not supported, so an underscore has been added in their place)

Double check your email address!

I plan on shutting down the forums either **Friday December 28th (evening) or Saturday December 29th (morning) **and plan to have them back online sometime January 1st. I will periodically update a placeholder site with the current status and ETA once it goes offline

Let me know if you have any questions. We appreciate your patience during the transition!

Will this break the image links for teams that have photos on TBA from here, or any other prior links for that matter?

Hooray! Thanks for dedicating so much time to propping up this amazing collaboration resource.

Thread and post links will be preserved, but image links or links to CD media will not. The media tags will be migrated over (new link) if TBA uses them.

Great to see an update. But how do I live without Chief Delphi for 2 whole days?

I’m so excited!!!

Tying to my last question, im assuming that each new photo added will create a new thread per image (correct me if im wrong.) Will this at least mean we can upload photos into one “album” of sorts per thread? Will these be able to be individually called/have unique URL’s?

Yes you could upload multiple images into one thread. It’s more flexible since it just is another category and less of a structured system. Essentially the CD media area is being replaced with its already existing discussion subforum (https://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=68)

Change is hard. Change is painful. Suppress your frustration and anger. Learn the new system. Be supportive and helpful if problems are found. Negative rants will not help.

As much as I love the change and think it will overall be a good thing, I wonder if the right time to make the change is 5 days before kickoff. That doesn’t leave a lot of time to get used to the new system and/or iron out any kinks before CD’s busiest period. Current CD is pretty outdated, but it works and we know how to use it. Maybe we should wait until next off-season to make the switch to ensure a smooth roll-out.

This type of reasoning is a large part of the delay. If we’re ready, get it done! No sense waiting and having them release a new version that requires effort to do the same reworks Brandon’s done for this release. I’m just impressed that he’s putting all this effort in this week, while the rest of us are resting up for the build season!

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Yay!

I welcome our new single page post overlord. It will be fun to watch some of the fast moving post/reply threads on Kickoff Saturday and read the rules Sunday. If it works like they say I can open 8 windows and watch the new replies scroll through.

Good Luck on the upgrade!

Brandon has been testing and feedback will be welcome. No reason to delay more.

Study the Discourse new user getting started guide? :wink:

bookmarks Read the Manual? Perfect practice for build season!

If we’re going to have to go through a password reset, now would be a good time to make sure your email on CD is up to date!

I guess this makes sense. I know from experience that good testing doesn’t a smooth roll-out make, but I guess if the new site is going to be a big improvement over the current one then it’s worth it to switch ASAP.

And in case this wasn’t clear in my first post, of course thank you Brandon for all of your hard work in this process and in general maintaining CD. This has got to be my favorite Christmas gift yet, just bypassing the new TBA iOS app.

Sigh… I KNEW I should have celebrated my 2,000th post on CD when I made it… but I thought, no… I’ll celebrate the 2,048th post. Much more appropriate. I might not quite get there in the next three days, though. :slight_smile:

Anyway, thank you for your work on this… the volume of data that has to be transferred and translated from one system to another is huge. I have no idea how many hours I’ve spent on CD over the years, but I know I’m hardly alone in my appreciation. I’ll miss the old site, but look forward to the new one. If we aren’t moving, then we aren’t moving forward!

Thank you,

Jason