1. Daniel

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

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    Planning the XF2 Upgrade & a New Version of WF

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by Daniel, May 7, 2018.

    I'm currently researching and outlining what needs to be done for us to move WF to the latest version of Xenforo. XF2, which is a major software update, will provide a more streamlined, modern interface and better behind-the-machine functionality. I find it more enjoyable and natural to use. It's necessary in the long-term. Right now I'm determining the exact challenges and costs associated with ensuring software compatibility and exploring potential site redesigns.

    Though it's very early in the process, I wanted to open this public thread for early community feedback. Feel free to offer your opinions on XF2, the current state of the forum, what changes you would like to see in forum software, current shortcomings, and any significant improvements you'd like to see. I'll be sure to review compiled feedback before decisions are made.

    I'm not sure if or when we'll upgrade or what additional changes we might implement. It's going to take a lot of hours and probably some custom coding to be able to completely make the transition.

    I'll update this thread or create a new one when more details/plans emerge. Right now I'm looking for general feedback.

    This is your opportunity to help shape the next generation of WritingForums.org. All comments are appreciated.
     
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  2. big soft moose

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

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    will the upgrade fix the nodes issue that stops volunteers operating in the top quartile of the forum ?
     
  3. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

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    My only concern is this: will it be compatible with older software and systems? I think the forum is fine just now, from my point of view as a user, so I can't think of anything to add or take away. But would hate to to discover I can no longer access it, via Mac Sierra and my 2014-era Mini and my Firefox browser.

    If you need some financial assistance to get it up and running, ask us. I'm sure many of us would be willing to contribute.
     
  4. Komposten

    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    There shouldn't be any risk of you not being able to access it. I assume you have your Firefox updated, but even if you were running a version from 2014 you would probably still be fine.
    XenForo 2 does feature a heavy re-write of the under-the-hood code, making it more stable, reliable, and efficient. It also features a modernised user interface and many new features. But most importantly, it is built using HTML5, which has been supported by all browsers for many years by now (and is the standard all over the web).

    If you want to browse a XenForo 2 forum just to see what it can look like (and make sure everything works), you can head over to the official XenForo Community.
     
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  5. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

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    Sounds fine to me. More power to your arm. I'm one of those people who flips a switch and expects the lights to go on. If they don't, I call an electrician. I don't become one myself. I leave the how and why to the smart guys. (However, I'm a DAMN good cook, if I may say so myself. :))
     
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  6. Daniel

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

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    @big soft moose I was unaware of this bug, if it’s what it sounds like it’s now a priority well ahead of XF2z Is there an existing bug report for this problem? Please point me in it’s direction asap, screenshots are a huge plus.
     
  7. Daniel

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

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    Lol I get that, just let us know when the lights flicker or are too dim. A lot goes into an upgrade this big so there are bound to be some bumps.
     
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  8. big soft moose

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

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    You need to speak to @Wreybies who will be able to give you the full SP ... I'm sure ive pm'd you about it before, but in essence those of us who are forum volunteers to keep things looking neat, moving posts to the right sections etc cannot operate in the top section of the board , and wrey says there is no way he can give us the ability to operate there without making us super moderators which is obviously not desirable. Apparently its down to the nodes on which the forum was set up.

    This means that when we are working on moving stuff from general writing to where it actually belongs (per the empty the bucket project) we had to use the report function to flag posts to move rather than moving them ourselves as we were able to in the rest of the forum

    This is what we ought to be able to see
    normal volunteer view.png

    In the top section there is no thread tools option
     

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    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  9. Daniel

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

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    Ah okay, that helps. So it’s not a bug like I imagined, but volunteers like yourself are lacking the needed tools. I’ll look for your PM and talk to Wrey about it for sure, thanks!
     
  10. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I was able to create user group for them that gave them the needed tools, but as Moose mentioned, that top section of the forum remained immune to anything I did. I remembered that we had a similar issue when we created a couple of the Super Moderators, as well.
     
  11. Daniel

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

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    When you say the top section, are you speaking of the admin/moderator bar with reports/etc.? Or are you saying the volunteer tools can’t be applied to the top forum catergu? I’m not clearly understanding what you mean.
     
  12. big soft moose

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

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    The section of the board that's tagged as 'creative writing' ie from 'publishing' down to 'by writing form' ... in that section we have no thread tools access
     
  13. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    In this area of the forum. Sorry.

    Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 8.06.54 AM.png
     
  14. big soft moose

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

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    On the original topic (which I did rather hijack in the spirit of "holy shit its Daniel, grab him before he disappears".)

    I'd also like to see XF2 give more prominence to the resources section, and better connectivity to the forum ... the resources also needs a restructure (you have a pm from me about that from last year too)
     
  15. Daniel

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

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    @big soft moose @Wreybies can you check it now? Tell me you have the thread tools.

    Lol. I have been under a rock, my PM inbox here gets overwhelming. I will look for that message when I'm evaluating the resource section of the upgrade. I, too, would like to see resource improvements, I've always believed they were underutilized and have huge potential as true assets.

    As for better connectivity to the forum, do you mean site speed/uptime or user interface/usability? Both are being examined.
     
  16. big soft moose

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

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    No I meant better connectivity between resources and forum - in some section when you create a resource you get a corresponding thread, in others you don't. Wrey appointed me resources monitor during the ETB project and I did my best to get it moving again but it really needs an overhaul first
     
  17. big soft moose

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

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    And yes rejoice for we (or at least I) have top of the forum access .... once more into the breach etc (actually its not too bad in general writing but theres a lot in character that belongs in plot or setting and vice versa... we've been holding off so as not to drown wrey in reports)
     
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  18. Daniel

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

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    I hear you. I'm putting serious focus on integration of various aspects of the site. Right now I'm focusing on forum home, thread view, and the workshops, but resources are definitely on the agenda.

    Edit: whoop whoop!
     
  19. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Long story short: I know that you've always felt the Resources part of the forum is underutilized. One thing I noticed regarding how we use it vs, say, how the Xenforo site uses it, is that there's a strong connection between the normal forum interface and their Resource area via the threads that are created when a Resource is created. We only have a few of the Resource categories set up that way, to propagate a thread into an area of the forum, so the connection between the two areas, from a regular member's POV, is not very evident.
     
  20. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    An example of a Resource area that could be directly tied to an existing subforum is tying the categories for book promotion to the Success Stories subforum. They would seem to me to be serving basically the same function.
     
  21. big soft moose

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

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    another thing that occurs to me is that we should have a section on story structure ... a lot of the threads in GW relate to that, but theres no where obvious to put them ( I suppose it could go by writing form, novels but its not a very intuitive location)
     
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  22. big soft moose

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

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    also this is happening a lot, which is irritating ...it seems to have no bearing on forum running you just close it and press on

    error.png
     
  23. Daniel

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

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    That's true.

    For some types of resources it makes sense (Publishers, Software, perhaps Books) but for others the best integration route is not necessarily clear. A grammar guide covering a common problem, for example, or a specific literary agent or website. Or a PDF or document download. Should each of these have a corresponding thread? It becomes less clear. I think how we better integrate might need to pay attention to the specific category, along with creating a better design for resource pages/categories and other forms of on-site integration.

    The forums you mention already set up with thread integrations had issues with people not realizing that to post about a specific publisher in the Publisher Discussion forum, they should create a resource about that publisher, not a thread about that publisher. When it comes to pegging resources to threads, we need to make it user friendly (i.e. place a secondary button next to the new thread button for discussing a specific publisher) or a simple tooltip that shows additional information when you hover on a ? icon.

    It also makes me wondering if perhaps the Resource Manager could be used as the Article Manager. Right now our article system isn't a popular part of the site, but there's no reason that articles (and even guides & wikis) couldn't be integrated in one place, the resource manager. Xenforo.com does guides/tips that way.
     
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  24. Daniel

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

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    *furrows brow*

    Is this new as of today, or something long-standing? When does this happen exactly? When you try moving a thread, or randomly?
     
  25. big soft moose

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

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    I tend to agree that articles ought to be a resources thing ... may be insights and inspiration also, as inspirational articles etc could easily be a resource category

    in regard of integration I'd suggest that a grammar guide would link to word mechanics and a literary agent to the trad publishing forum

    It wouldn't however be essential if resources were more visible - it's necessary at the minute because people don't see resources being created
     

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