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reader50 Oct 6, 2012 05:40 AM
Good News
I'm pleased to report that we are going back to vBulletin. The decision has been made, with the tech details to be worked out.

Returning will require a custom migration to avoid locking in the previous glitches. That means some code work, and time to bugtest before we move back for real.

We don't know how long this will take - I can't help personally for at least a week. It is in the works, and we have hidden the previous feedback threads in the meantime. They're no longer relevant or helpful to the work ahead.

Please be patient, and keep the sentiments down regarding the current platform. We're getting what we asked for.
Dork. Oct 6, 2012 05:42 AM
turtle777 Oct 6, 2012 07:11 AM
Good news.

And someone has got to get fired over this.

besson3c Oct 6, 2012 07:12 AM
Good! I was starting to get worried what subego would do.
Dork. Oct 6, 2012 07:19 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by turtle777 (Post 4194928)
Good news.
And someone has got to get fired over this.
Why? Because a bunch of people on the Internet had a hissy-fit? People make poor decisions in business all the time, they only get fired when those poor decisions cost the company money (and they can't explain it away or blame someone else.)

Believe me, if the idiot running Kodak into the ground right now can't get fired, noone at MacNN is in any trouble.
subego Oct 6, 2012 10:22 AM
So... was this what you were expecting? :D
shifuimam Oct 6, 2012 12:02 PM

Also: When the change is complete, can we please ban Abe and remove all of his ridiculous threads?
besson3c Oct 6, 2012 04:43 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 4194947)
So... was this what you were expecting? :D
Maybe hacking into the site to revoke everybody else's mod and admin privileges, and making Abe the super admin?
Person Man Oct 6, 2012 05:50 PM
This is indeed good news. :)
ghporter Oct 7, 2012 05:47 AM
I'm looking forward to getting back to vBulletin for a number of reasons. However most users' experiences have been with our current incarnation, moderation and administration have been tough. It's honestly been a chore for me to visit, because I guess I'm a slow learner and all of the "behind the scenes" tools are very different and not nearly as consolidated and easy to use as what we had before. A return to vBulletin will mean that we have a chance to return to those solid and sophisticated tools, and to smoothly restore everything, from the first post on the new platform onward. I expect that what we wind up with won't look exactly the same as before, but I hope everyone will think it is better.

The only thing I can say about the business end of this is that it was hoped that the Huddler platform would bring in more users through integration with the news feed from the main MacNN page, and from including more ways to interact with the forums. I expect that we'll be working on those issues with the "re-transition" to vBulletin, but in a way that our established users will find worthwhile as well.
shifuimam Oct 7, 2012 08:31 AM
It should be relatively trivial, from a technical perspective, to integrate forum posts with the news side of MacNN, if what they're looking for is a way for users to comment on news articles through the forums.
besson3c Oct 7, 2012 04:39 PM
This is good news, but it might be a good idea to discuss collectively future plans? Will MacNN pay for vbulletin indefinitely? Will there be work put in to develop a responsive (mobile) theme? The Newsposter thing? Growth strategy? Parent owner involvement/goals/desires?
subego Oct 7, 2012 08:51 PM
I think the most important issue by far is front page integration with the forums.
Currawong Oct 8, 2012 12:41 AM
All the best with the move back to VB.
Eug Oct 9, 2012 09:37 AM
andi*pandi Oct 9, 2012 10:20 AM
dammit, that totally works. What a device!
subego Oct 9, 2012 12:38 PM
mduell Oct 9, 2012 03:19 PM
Don't bother with migration, just roll back to the old vB.
MacinTommy Oct 10, 2012 08:59 AM
I vote fresh start for all.
P Oct 10, 2012 12:23 PM
The old threads are a very good resource for people googling for solutions to Mac problems, so no, we should not start over from zero. Just using the old vB setup might be easier, but it's not my call.
besson3c Oct 10, 2012 01:07 PM
To me it would make sense (whether we migrate or not) to setup a test domain with vB and a copy of the forum data so that we can help hammer away at stuff and find any migration/restoration related glitches.

I'd be happy to help with stuff as needed.
besson3c Oct 10, 2012 02:17 PM
I'd also be happy to test my poop censor
turtle777 Oct 12, 2012 05:33 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 4195578)
I'd also be happy to test my poop censor
No shit.

subego Oct 12, 2012 08:21 PM
You mean "lots of shit".

Sorta like "don't take a dump... leave one".
turtle777 Oct 13, 2012 08:47 AM
Well, it seems like the site statistics must have been so f*cking bad that the "higher ups" decided for a switch back.

It must be REALLY REALLY bad, otherwise they would not have admitted that kind of defeat.

My guess would be that mobile usage of 'NN (on iPhone, iPads) basically completely vanished.

Let's hope it's not too late. The trend of 'NN dying has been in place much longer than this last nail in the Forums coffin.

reader50 Oct 13, 2012 09:55 AM
That, or they do care and want to correct mistakes made along the way.

I expect to post updates as progress is made.
Eug Oct 14, 2012 04:31 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by turtle777 (Post 4195952)
Let's hope it's not too late. The trend of 'NN dying has been in place much longer than this last nail in the Forums coffin.
Maybe, but the change in the forum interest after the switch was dramatic. After the switch, it seemed this place almost became a ghost town. Or at least it seemed so to this outsider.
Ω Oct 14, 2012 09:05 PM
Ghost town? Spambot were all over this shit!
P Oct 15, 2012 12:02 AM
There were just as many spambots as ever, it was just that cleaning it up got harder so it stayed around longer.
Athens Oct 15, 2012 09:13 AM
A lot of damage was done and I think a fresh start could be useful. All old content remains in a locked archive accessible format. But a scale down on how many different forums would be beneficial with the smaller user population.

Proposal one

Apple Hardware
- Macintosh Hardware (Desktops, Notebooks, Components, Accessories and Hacking)
- iOS Hardware (iPod, iPhone, iPad, AppleTV)
- Networking

Apple Software
- Macintosh Software (OS X, Applications, GUI Hacks)
- iOS Software (Apps, iOS)
- Other Operating Systems (BSD, Linux, Windows, ....)
- Developer Center (OS X and iOS)

- Macnn Lounge (Gaming, Art and Graphic Design roll into this)
- Political/War Lounge
- Feedback
- Market Place

thought honestly I think we only really need
Developer Center
Macnn Lougne
Feed Back
Market Place

We have a much smaller user base here now and the number of posts we get does not require separate sections any more.

Just my 2 cents.
Shaddim Oct 16, 2012 10:23 PM
or we could dump the P/W lounge and just have a politics thread.
shifuimam Oct 17, 2012 07:55 AM
I'd still like to see a Classic Mac forum for those of us still using OS 8/9 on older PPC Macs. It may not be very active, but if we at least have something, it might find some use...
reader50 Oct 19, 2012 10:35 AM
Status update.

We finally got the test dump from Huddler into our regular DB. It took some conversion work - they use a different DB.

Next, I have to write import scripts to map the newer users into vB users, in the proper groups. We don't want to unban spammers in the process. Or turn subego into an admin. Or leave Ω as 'o'.
besson3c Oct 19, 2012 11:03 AM
Awesome! Make sure that Abe doesn't become an admin either, at least until after the election :)
subego Oct 20, 2012 04:47 PM
I'd use my powers to unban Kevin.

But I'd read all the gossipy mod lounge posts first.
Brien Oct 21, 2012 04:18 PM
Ω Oct 21, 2012 11:49 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by reader50 (Post 4197062)

Or leave Ω as 'o'.
Yay! Sphincter boy no more!

Abe is a douche.

turtle777 Oct 26, 2012 04:10 PM
I think you meant to say "Abe is a dΩuche". :p

Laminar Oct 27, 2012 06:53 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by turtle777 (Post 4198442)
I think you meant to say "Abe is a dΩuche". :p
LOLOLOL! I've sure missed turtle's razor-sharp wit! :lol::thumbsup::p :p :p
reader50 Oct 27, 2012 10:59 PM
Status update.

This applies to new content made since the migration. All content made under vB will be there waiting for us.

The user account import script is done, and the Posts import script is well along. As I write this, it handles the first 1,000 new posts, but throws a few edge cases in the 2nd 1,000. Which I'm working on now.

The posts do trap for user Ω, even in quotes, and substitute the right name.

Polls are uncertain - we only got the wrappers in this DB dump, not the choices and votes. PMs are missing entirely. Check again after next dump.

I now expect to skip the attachments - the translation scripts are taking too long already.

My code skills were apparently rusty. Half the time has been spent debugging, or rewriting functions to clean up sloppy code.
Ω Oct 27, 2012 11:26 PM
Honestly if it is an issue/time consuming you can just change my username.


Dork. Oct 28, 2012 06:28 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by reader50 (Post 4198620)
My code skills were apparently rusty. Half the time has been spent debugging, or rewriting functions to clean up sloppy code.
Only half? You're probably missing something, then. :P
Spheric Harlot Nov 7, 2012 08:57 AM
Couple of notes:

1.) The integration of the news comments into the forum actually appears to be working. There's been an influx of new members in recent weeks, and occasional spillover of comment veterans into the "regular" forums. It is probably unwise to reverse this.

2.) I like that images can now be attached to forum posts, rather than necessarily being hosted elsewhere.

3.) I've come to rely upon the mouseover (single-tap) post previews in the forum overview/newposts lists. I never thought I'd like this, but I find myself missing it a lot on other forums where I actually have to load the thread to get an idea of what the last post was.

4.) I find it tremendously annoying that the news comment mods have zero presence/experience on the rest of the forums and vice versa. It makes for…inconsistent moderation.

5.) Why the **** are news stories sometimes cross posted into both the Tech News AND Mac News forums? Consolidate into "News" forum, or actually have News Moderator/author link story to appropriate forum (iOS/Mac/Tech News/Lounge, augmented from suggestion in other thread).

6.) should be the default view, and the number of forums drastically reduced.

7.) Goddamn, some of the interface for the Huddler version is ****ing BLOCKHEADED. Like the actual text area of the "search forums" field not matching the outline that would suggest a text entry field. I clicked four or five times before I figured out what was broken. :brick:
I'm really looking forward to people who actually give a shit regaining some control over such issues.
Shaddim Nov 8, 2012 02:32 AM
What he said. Also there's no direct link to advanced search in the forum itself.

#2 on Spheric's list is huge, saves time, especially on a touch device.
P Nov 8, 2012 05:20 AM
1) I agree. It is encouraging.

2) That's possible in vB as well, it's just that that feature was not enabled for whatever reason (probably load).

6) Make a bookmark. Really. We need something like the current view as the first thing a noob sees. The number of forums we have talked about before, but I think the main issue is that it's not possible to go back after you have joined forums up, which causes some reluctance. Generally I agree that we should have fewer, though.
Spheric Harlot Nov 8, 2012 10:12 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by P (Post 4200823)
6) Make a bookmark. Really. We need something like the current view as the first thing a noob sees.
I have that set as my default bookmark.

You have a good point, but I've found that the "new posts" view makes this place seem a lot less dead.

Perhaps it should be more prominently offered to people once they've registered?
Spheric Harlot Nov 9, 2012 08:30 AM
Oh yeah, one more:

8.) vB used to just bold threads with new posts since my last visit. This sucked if you just pulled up the page on your iPhone to pass a couple minutes, but didn't get around to reading everything before putting it away. Look at it again at home on the iPad or Mac, and all threads are marked "read".
The way the Huddler platform retains read/unread status across sessions is MUCH nicer.
reader50 Nov 9, 2012 09:31 AM
I still hate that "feature", it requires one to manually mark-posts-read on every single visit. And you have to click through a confirm dialog each time. It does make more sense for mobile users surfing in spare time. Ideally, the new-posts behavior would be a user pref. I'll look into it, but probably not until after we're back.

We just got a fresh DB dump, and the attachments. 1 GB of them. I can see why we didn't enable those before, the DB is ~4GB. Three months with attachments enabled and the size goes up 25%. I'll have to figure out how we'll handle that.
Spheric Harlot Nov 9, 2012 09:40 AM
I really don't care that threads are still marked "unread".

I just ignore the ones that don't interest me, and I find it more useful to know whether I've read the latest responses to a thread I AM interested in.
The Final Dakar Nov 9, 2012 09:43 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot (Post 4201051)
The way the Huddler platform retains read/unread status across sessions is MUCH nicer.
This might be the feature I enjoyed about Huddler most.
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