1. Daniel

    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors Founder Staff

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    XF2 Blogging System Upgrade Proposal

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by Daniel, Oct 25, 2018.

    Blogging System Upgrades

    As some of you may be aware, over the last year I've been working towards making our software compatible with XF2. XF2 is a new, re-written version of Xenforo (the forum software WF is built on) which offers scores of improvements and is required for our long-term growth and sustainability.

    The biggest things holding us back from the XF2 upgrade is compatibility with existing software modifications and re-writes of our custom code.

    The blog system was one of the biggest such roadblocks. It's more used, and is far more popular than other areas like the articles and gallery system. The software it's built upon is no longer supported, so it's been difficult to find a blogging solution that will preserve our content and allow us to upgrade to XF2.

    I finally found an excellent solution to replace the blogging system, which means we are one major step closer to making XF2 possible. This system should retain all current blogs, comments, and most features. Even better, it is actually a huge improvement.

    Features
    • Create Blog Entries, Categories, and Comments
    • Cleaner, Smoother Design
    • Watch Blogs
    • New Entry and New Comment Feeds
    • Share Links
    • Tags
    Other New / Bonus Features
    • Mobile Friendly (tested myself)
    • Option for Community Blogs
    • Option for Secondary, Separate Blogs
    • Option to Create a Discussion Thread for Blog Entries
    • Option for Featured Blogs on Blog Homepage
    • Ability to Sticky Blog Entry
    • Ability to Rate and/or Review Blog Entries
    Plus just everything we currently have, I believe.

    I've included some screenshots from mobile to give you a better idea of the interface.

    There are certainly more features available, I'm still doing testing. But I'm sure this is the solution for us.

    Financial Considerations

    This blogging solution for XF2 is a paid solution, which means we will need to find a way to pay for it before we can upgrade. Within a few days I'll be creating a thread regarding the XF2 upgrading planning process and financial requirements, which I will link to here once they are available.

    A paid solution is not all bad: it's from an extremely reputable developer, one who is constantly developing his code, and one who consistently releases high quality products. A paid solution also means software support and continuous development, both of which we lacked with our current blog set up.

    Presently, this User Blogging System is not available publically, only offered privately / to early adopters. I'm in talks with the developer, and it sounds like he will let us purchase a license.

    The cost to upgrade our blogging system is $120, but based on the options available, it's actually a steal (it may solve the issue with migrating our Article system as well).

    Before we can make progress in this area towards XF2 we'll need to buy a license, which will require community help.

    The Process

    Most likely what will happen is this: if we can raise enough money to find the blog add-on, our blogs will be converted to the new blogging system on our current installation (there's a XF1.5 version).

    This could happen anytime, even before the rest of XF2 development. This would allow everyone to test and get used to the new set-up, before additional extensive site-wide upgrade. Then, once the rest of the site is ready for XF2, we will upgrade the forum software to XF2, then the blogging system to 2.0.

    About This Thread

    I started this thread to let everyone know where we are regarding migrating the blogs, and to let our blog users know what was planned. I don't want to start community fundraising until I have a action plan acceptable to the community, and ideally a rough timeframe as well.

    I mentioned in another thread I'm focusing on incremental changes for XF2. When it comes time to start the process, the blogging system should be the first. It's something available and we can prep now. Let me know what you guys think regarding potential fundraising for the blogging system, any issues your foresee, and keep an eye out for my other threads.

    Questions, Feedback, Concerns

    I'm also looking for feedback from those of you who use the blogs the most. Are there features you value that I forgot to mention? Let me know, so I can be sure to address them.

    One potential feature loss is the ability to customize a blog entry. I'm still looking into this (it may be possible). I hope this isn't a deal breaker to those of you who frequent the blogging area, but I welcome feedback on the issue.
     
  2. Some Guy

    Some Guy People-thing Supporter

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    customize?
     
  3. Komposten

    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Things like changing background colour/image, maybe fonts, etc. Our current blog add-on allows that, and some members use it to make their own blogs more theirs.
     
  4. Some Guy

    Some Guy People-thing Supporter

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    Thanks.
    So, I had promised in a thread to donate $100 to a worthy cause. This more than qualifies + $20. I can't believe that's all it costs? I had money set aside for a project, and WF so totally blows it out of the water! So what else lurks out there, in the way of costs? Gotta be something.
     
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  5. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    Count me the rest of the way in. @Some Guy , we can split and donate the other half to another worthy cause; the proposed upgrade will certainly give us yet another opportunity.

    I like the feature to customise the design of the blog, but it's not a dealbreaker. I say go for it.
     
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  6. Some Guy

    Some Guy People-thing Supporter

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    Is it just the same PayPal thing?
     
  7. Daniel

    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors Founder Staff

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    I’m having trouble finding the mobile screenshots I promised, but I’ll upload them as soon as I’m on desktop.

    My only concern with this is the customization features, but I added a notice in the blogging area and haven’t heard anything yet.

    I appreciate that you guys are willing to help cover the costs. It won’t be forgotten and will really streamline things.

    WF 4.9/5.0 is going to be awesome. I think everyone’s going to love it once it gets rolled out.

    I’ll try to have more info on the XF2 plan announced tonight.

    P.S. If anyone reading this wants to be part of the development team - basically a group of members who help come up with big ideas and vett the XF 2.x upgrade plan - PM me. I could really use additional feedback on planned implimentions I’m not ready to post publically.
     
  8. Some Guy

    Some Guy People-thing Supporter

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    Happy to contribute, if an old, retired development support tech can help. It was mostly hardware, and app config with dev & test developers on various Windows platforms, back in the Wild-West days of '03.
     
  9. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    WF did so much for me, time to give a bit back :)

    Edit to add: @Daniel , I searched for a way to donate, but I only found the link to purchase supporter status. Would it be a good idea to add a link to a custom amount to the list where the paypal links are? Failing that, could you tell me where I can find a link to just donate?
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
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  10. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Active Member

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    - Visual clarity.
    - Good white.
    - Nice logo.
    - Easy incoming.
     
  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    you fill a briefcase with non sequentially numbered bank notes and stand under the clock at Kings Cross holding a rolled up Financial times in your left hand...
     
  12. Some Guy

    Some Guy People-thing Supporter

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    What kind of antlers will you be wearing?
     
  13. paperbackwriter

    paperbackwriter Active Member

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    I honestly wish I could donate money as I use the blogging section more than anyone else. But such is my paltry income that I struggle to pay even household bills. If anyone has benefited from Writing Forums it is me. Thank you so much for allowing me continued use and everything so far.
     
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  14. IHaveNoName

    IHaveNoName Senior Member Community Volunteer

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    I'd like to have the ability to preview posts. I know most people don't really care about formatting and such, but I think it'd save some work for us anal-retentives.
     
  15. Tristan's Opa

    Tristan's Opa Member Supporter

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    I'm a retired tech herder with some limited skills and willing to test various browsers and mobile if needed. As for funds, yeah, I can offer up a few bucks. This place was a great find for me and I'm feeling at home.
     
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