Forum upgrade completed!

For creating groups, suggesting features, reporting problems and the like.
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M0rtimer
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Forum upgrade completed!

Post by M0rtimer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:28 am

There has been an update to this, here

Hello everyone! First off, allow me to start off by saying that I'm not responsible for the board upgrade, so please save me the worst of your wrath, I'm just here to play the messenger. With that said, the Duke (our server admin) is only trying to do his job and suffered some complications, so please save him your wrath, too. The worst of it, at least. ;)

Regardless, you might have all noticed the board to have a new look, a scary little warning on top of the board, and perhaps that some posts/topics since yesterday are gone. Long story short, given continued bot problems, it was decided to cut the straw and finally force the board to be updated to a proper version. A backup of the very moment the update started was made, but there was a little issue with this (Oops!) which meant we were forced to rollback to the last database backup yesterday. Sorry for anything that was lost in that timespan!

Regardless, for the most part, after many hours of work, Duke has managed to bring the forums to a mostly okay state... But a couple, perhaps breaking issues do remain. There will be a list at the bottom of this post, and if you find any other issues you can post them here. For now it's important to know that firstly, we'll be looking to see if we can fix these issues, in which case we will continue using the new boards. HOWEVER, assuming the errors can't be fixed, there will likely be another rollback! So don't get too attached to anything you write here for now.
Assuming we are forced to rollback, the next course of action will likely be to archive the "old" (current) forums, and we'll likely be switching over to a new board format.

In the case the forums will go down for maintenance again, we have a discord you can follow to keep up to date, or just general chatting: https://discord.gg/f63Eqmd

Current breaking issues:
  • Any page that previously contained [tab:] tags is broken and cannot be accessed and needs to have the tags removed to work.
  • Same issue above occurs with images that had the "auto-left" property assigned to them.
Current minor issues:
  • Spoiler tags broken
  • BBC editor contains "broken" entries
In addition, if any of you might know of potential fixes for any of the problems posted, you can leave those in this thread as well. :)

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spiderwrangler
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by spiderwrangler » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:33 am

Minor Issue: Things in spoilers seem to be out in the open.
Games I GM:
► Show Spoiler
Games I play in:
► Show Spoiler

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M0rtimer
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by M0rtimer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:39 am

Yeah, you're correct. There's a different kind of spoiler still working:
► Show Spoiler
BUT, the current BBC editor is also using the wrong one... So not exactly ideal.

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BadgeAddict
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by BadgeAddict » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:16 am

Is it possible to change background format back to the original. (The green one)
I've lost my View latest posts button too.
The Long Shot - A Star Wars Saga Edition Campaign.
The ones who challenge and break the rules created by the current Authorities, are the harbingers of change.

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M0rtimer
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by M0rtimer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:19 am

The background I'm pretty sure is a custom theme, so... That depends on whether or not someone will be able to make a new one, or we find one that's similar.

Latest posts button I'm not usre off, can't recall using it myself... It's not in the quick links on the top left?

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BadgeAddict
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by BadgeAddict » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:21 am

Ah, it's been moved, I found it's new home. It used to be located by itself at the top of each page.
The Long Shot - A Star Wars Saga Edition Campaign.
The ones who challenge and break the rules created by the current Authorities, are the harbingers of change.

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thinkslogically
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by thinkslogically » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:58 am

There used to be a "return to previous forum" link at the bottom of each page near the reply boxes which has disappeared.

Im sure it's not an error, but that button was SUPER handy on mobile and it'd be good to get it back.

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M0rtimer
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by M0rtimer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:05 am

It's still available on desktop, and I guess it was removed on mobile because the back button essentially holds the same functionality... There's still the "board index" link on the bottom left of the page, though.

Not that I'm disagreeing, just stating my thoughts on why I think that's been changed. It's probably not a bug as you say, so I'm not sure that's something we could bring back.

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Glemp
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by Glemp » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:42 am

For what it's worth I like how the forum now scales to mobile. Also, how does the upgrade combat bot accounts? Does it include CAPTCHA challenges in account creation or something?

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M0rtimer
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by M0rtimer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:50 am

Can't really answer that question because honestly, I don't know. I just know that part of the reason for the bot problem was that the old forum was severely out of date, and we just pushed back the actual update for this long for, well, let's say the fact the forums seem to be doing half okay is a pretty big surprise overall..! I can only assume that the update will include a bunch of new security factors as well...

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BadgeAddict
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by BadgeAddict » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:11 am

A very cool feature, though less so on the privacy side is the new banner in the upper right hand corner of a post which says whether or not a person is online. The question would be whether a person who has the box that hides their online status checked is hidden in that way also.
Last edited by BadgeAddict on Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
The Long Shot - A Star Wars Saga Edition Campaign.
The ones who challenge and break the rules created by the current Authorities, are the harbingers of change.

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SeeAMoose
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by SeeAMoose » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:13 am

My understanding is that the old forum's security features were far from secure and that is part of why the bots were able to bypass them so easily. We are going to see what happens with this updare and then evaluate if other changes are needed. We may add a requirement that first posts be approved if this doesn't resolve the bot problem.
I am one of the forum admins and chat moderators. Drop any of us a line if you ever need a hand in either the forum or the chat.
You can reach me at AdminMoose@goblinsforum.com or at BotWalter@gmail.com

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M0rtimer
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by M0rtimer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:15 am

I mean, they were once secure... Probably about ten years ago. :P

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Theis2
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by Theis2 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:20 am

BadgeAddict wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:11 am
A very cool feature, though less so on the privacy side is the new banner in the upper right hand corner of a post which says whether or not a person is online. The question would be whether a person who has the box that hides their online status checked is hidden in that way also.
Pretty sure we had that before, although not as visible. It also shows who's online in this particular forum section at the bottom of the page.
Games I'm in
► Show Spoiler
I'm a GM for Shipwrecked
And the Shipwrecked OOC thread

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BadgeAddict
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by BadgeAddict » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:22 am

Just so I understand, Why couldn't you create a new "membership" which is for all new members, Forcing them (by limiting access) to post in a specific location (Concrete box aka - Newcomers) and then have an admin both greet them and upgrade their membership into the regular population.
The Long Shot - A Star Wars Saga Edition Campaign.
The ones who challenge and break the rules created by the current Authorities, are the harbingers of change.

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Krulle
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by Krulle » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:01 pm

BadgeAddict wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:11 am
A very cool feature, though less so on the privacy side is the new banner in the upper right hand corner of a post which says whether or not a person is online. The question would be whether a person who has the box that hides their online status checked is hidden in that way also.
The old one also showed "online status" (whether that user did any activity the last ten minutes)
BadgeAddict wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:22 am
Just so I understand, Why couldn't you create a new "membership" which is for all new members, Forcing them (by limiting access) to post in a specific location (Concrete box aka - Newcomers) and then have an admin both greet them and upgrade their membership into the regular population.
Because that's a LOT of manual work offloaded to the admins.

Huh, this lunch break I posted here, and that post seems to be gone...

Basically a few days warning would've been nice, so that I could've saved some posts.
Like the transcription posts... (forgot to save to my own back-up for quite a while, stupid me - apparently that one lacked only ten pages or so, but still, stupid me....)
Nothing happened to them. so that's fine.

edit:
memberlist.php?mode=team
we have a "hidden group"? I thought the group name was previously shown anyway...


edit2: tried to push my posts together, but cannot delete posts anymore in this update. Maybe just this subforum, but that'll be unpractical for me....

edit 3: I can. Just the "delete this post" checkbox in the editor is not allowed (and actually saves your post and creates a new post). Deleting using the "X" on the posts op right corner still works. But asks for a reason which will be visible to mods.

Therefore have been able to consolidate posts, and prevent triple posting.



Also, I like that quotes now link to the post quoted... :)

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RocketScientist
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by RocketScientist » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:46 pm

BadgeAddict wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:16 am
Is it possible to change background format back to the original. (The green one)
M0rtimer wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:19 am
The background I'm pretty sure is a custom theme, so... That depends on whether or not someone will be able to make a new one, or we find one that's similar.
It's not looking good as far as just installing an out-of-the-box theme. You can see the current themes here. (Use the dropdown box at the top to look at various themes.) The base for the one we used to make the old green theme is no longer there. If anybody particularly likes one of these themes, we could use that without much effort on Duke's part. And if we want different, more-Gobliny icons, maybe we could make them. But probably we shouldn't hold our breath on this.
Image Image Image

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Tea
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by Tea » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:46 pm

If I'm reading this page correctly custom styles can be done with basic CSS which I've gotten pretty good with. Things get a little bit more interesting when we get to file organization and linking from the HTML, but the actual styling seems nice and straightforward. And we can modify a theme so there's something to build off of already for the code (or at least copy and use as a reference for changing the style). I'm heading into a busy time with school, but I think I can handle taking on a side project. I can PM link to sample of some of my work and it looks like I can download a style locally and take a look around the files to make sure this is something I won't make a mess of before I commit to anything.

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M0rtimer
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by M0rtimer » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:39 am

Hello again everyone! Calling this to attention again because I've an important question to ask all of you. And let me preface this with saying that this might be all awfully premature- I know we'll be looking at this more today still, and for all we know we'll manage to fix all resolving issues and this whole question becomes moot. But acting on a "worst case" basis, I want to move forward and gather the forum's opinion in advance, so we can swiftly move on to take the appropriate action depending on what we find.

Basically, it seems that on first glance, we've managed to bring the forums to a state where they are "stable". There's nothing that seems to be utterly broken, or that can't be fixed in some way. The worst aggressor at the moment are that there are still some broken tags, which will make offending posts appear empty. HOWEVER, if those posts are edited and the offending tags removed, they will be fixed. There are other annoyances however, such as what I've primarily noticed, the BBC editor containing a whole bunch of "broken" options.

The question to all you guys is: assuming the worst, and we can not fix all of these issues, and some of them might stick around... (Or worse, more eventually come to the surface.) Is that something that you guys could live with?

Because from discussion on the background, it seems that right now it's coming to a fork in the road on what exactly we'll end up doing. The first option is that we keep the forums as they are now, and deal with any quirks that might remain. (Although, again, we'll be trying to fix most, if not all of them) The second option would be that we'd rollback to just before we started the upgrade process, and would likely be moving over to a different forum format. In any instance, the intention is to keep everything that we have available, but this option would likely mean "starting over" with an empty board in a certain sense. There is some potential we'd be able to migrate over the data we have to these new forums, but don't keep your fingers crossed.

There's a poll above, where you can vote on what you think the best solution might be. Also feel free to share your opinion, or ask questions here.

My personal opinion is to try and go with the forums as they are now. There seem to be very few pages that used any of the now broken tags, and those can now be fixed. (if requiring a bit more work to give a "nice" formatting again) The BBC editor not working completely as expected is annoying, but not game-breaking for me. And finally, I'm reasonably confident that we should be able to fix the major host of issues in due time.

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Krulle
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by Krulle » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:32 am

Keeping broken things around just will make the next upgrade even harder...

The BBC editor had been customized for this forum, I presume. (It's the only one I saw with this setup.)
Is there a way to install a new one over the old one?

Not that problematic, I basically only need the quote, url and spoiler tags. And those I mainly use by typing them in by hand.

edit: to give an indication: this forum had its first registrations five years ago. Which is not bad for such a "large" forum, but also nowhere close to what phpBB forums can age...
(the outsider forum runs since 7 years, and Star-Control runs since more than 8 years. But both forums are rather quiet forums...
the phpBB forum itself runs since nearly 17 years - https://www.phpbb.com/community/memberlist.php; but then if theirs breaks they have quite an issue, being the developers of this forum. And they update basically every step. Skipping steps is not what they do, but most implementations of phpBB skip a few update steps.)

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M0rtimer
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by M0rtimer » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:47 am

I'm not really gonna say much on that matter, since I don't know enough with certainty to make any statements about how phpbb works... I'm only acting in reasonable confidence and acting as a communicator since I also do programming for a living. I'm not sure to what extent the current issues would affect anything of the likes. From what I've seen so far, the current issues so far are relatively minor... I'd have to admit I'm not sure if they might not come back with a vengeance some day in the future if we need to upgrade again, but even if they do, I assume they would only affect pages that currently have the same issues... Which are again little, and we'd probably end up fixing those all over time anyways.

As for the BBC editor, I'm pretty sure we should be able to edit that. My suspicion is that it still has features from something that got removed, so we'll either need to install those again, or remove the options in question.

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BadgeAddict
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by BadgeAddict » Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:39 am

Question:
How much of the forum do we actually want to save?
(I mean, the forum gamers will probably be the most vocal here, but in reality, how much really needs to be saved. I was here for the great crash of 2016?, and we recovered just fine. Games that had existed prior continued on the most part. In some ways, I found the crash to be good because it purged a lot of the excess flim-flam out of the forum and we all got to see a fresh start again. I would actually be in favor of a start from scratch style scenario.

In addition, if we were able to have a scenario in which we could have both "new forum" and "Old forum" active at the same time, for say the time period of 1 month, then some of us oldies could work on moving some of the old stuff over into the new one, at least things deemed important enough to keep.)
The Long Shot - A Star Wars Saga Edition Campaign.
The ones who challenge and break the rules created by the current Authorities, are the harbingers of change.

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M0rtimer
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by M0rtimer » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:03 am

I'm not sure what games you might or might not have been in, but I remember the "great crash of 2016" to be devastating. Many games just died off over that. Some immediately, some slowly when they realized that there was just too much missing to continue. The discussion topics being removed as well left a lot of people disgruntled too.

In any case, I don't see "cutting out flim-flam" as any real benefit to starting over. I don't even see how that could be construed as a negative in the first place... It's... Literally just older topics sitting at the bottom of a page bothering no one..?

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BadgeAddict
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by BadgeAddict » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:08 am

I think the most devastating part was not the games lost, but the people who left. I just want to make sure we don't lose some of our members because of this whole transition.
The Long Shot - A Star Wars Saga Edition Campaign.
The ones who challenge and break the rules created by the current Authorities, are the harbingers of change.

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Krulle
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Re: Forum upgrade!

Post by Krulle » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:11 am

The forum crash was already 5 years ago. After that a new forum got set up, with new registration required.
As we registered as users on this forum 5 years ago, therefore the great crash was five years ago.

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