The software options for upgrading dgrin

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  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Mountain View, CaRegistered Users, Super Moderators Posts: 2,853 moderator
    edited August 19, 2014
    This interview from Scott Molinari is pretty revealing about what happened to vBulletin 4 years ago when they sold to Internet Brands, and the break-off group from vBulletin that created Xenforo.

    It's hard to read it without concluding that we have to get off of vBulletin somehow.

    https://theadminzone.com/threads/interview-with-scott-molinari-creator-of-skooppa.117690/
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Mountain View, CaRegistered Users, Super Moderators Posts: 2,853 moderator
    edited August 19, 2014
    julianlam wrote: »
    David_S85 -- Yes, we have a very complete VB importer that you can use, or we can run it for you for a small fee if doing that kind of technical work is not your cup of tea. User account, posts, topics, and categories are preserved. Each importer is different, but at minimum, those are the bases covered.

    Baldy -- I recognize your avatar from our forums, I figured it was you :). Image uploading is not optimized for large images, and we recognize this pain point. Here are some thoughts on it:

    1. The process ought to be streamlined, and error messages should be more descriptive, I agree.
    2. We should expose more options to allow administrators to post-process uploaded images. One of our clients regularly uploads 5M+ shots of birds, which is overkill for digital screens. Having the server automatically resize them down to 720p (or less) would be much more preferable.

    It's something we recognize, although it is not at the top of our list of priorities at the moment.
    Julian,

    That's very encouraging about the imports. We can do a cleanup of threads, but we have a lot that are timeless. Same for my motorcycle message forum (much bigger than this forum): http://www.advrider.com

    As for the uploader, it feels like it should just do the right thing like facebook does, where you can upload any file, it converts it to the right size (2000 pixels in facebook's current case), color space, and compression--and the user gets a lightbox when they click on it. We do all this at SmugMug and maybe an engineer wants to contribute time and make it happen within your framework somehow.
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Mountain View, CaRegistered Users, Super Moderators Posts: 2,853 moderator
    edited August 27, 2014
    So every night I read myself to sleep over forum features, other forum owner's experiences, and testing them for myself.

    I've eliminated Discourse from the pool, so we're down to three:

    1. NodeBB (pretty, cool, up-and-coming but young and I can't find any big, high-traffic boards on it yet, so being very cautious. Our team is worried the database they use won't scale and that the language keeps changing).

    2. Burning Board. This one is surprisingly good considering that it's old school. Here's an example thread:

    http://www.woltlab.com/forum/index.php/Thread/228258-WBB4-1-%E2%80%94-User-Notification-Improvements/

    The main downside is it's German and so there will be language difficulties for people who install and maintain to deal with.

    3. Xenforo. This is where most of the vBulletin installations like ours are going. It scales, owners are happy with it, but the UI and finishing touches are not as good as Burning Board. This is the safe fallback, but I'm hoping for better.
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Administrators Posts: 21,581 moderator
    edited August 27, 2014
    Baldy wrote: »
    So every night I read myself to sleep over forum features, other forum owner's experiences, and testing them for myself.

    I've eliminated Discourse from the pool, so we're down to three:

    1. NodeBB (pretty, cool, up-and-coming but young and I can't find any big, high-traffic boards on it yet, so being very cautious. Our team is worried the database they use won't scale and that the language keeps changing).

    2. Burning Board. This one is surprisingly good considering that it's old school. Here's an example thread:

    http://www.woltlab.com/forum/index.php/Thread/228258-WBB4-1-%E2%80%94-User-Notification-Improvements/

    The main downside is it's German and so there will be language difficulties for people who install and maintain to deal with.

    3. Xenforo. This is where most of the vBulletin installations like ours are going. It scales, owners are happy with it, but the UI and finishing touches are not as good as Burning Board. This is the safe fallback, but I'm hoping for better.

    Xenforo just seems more like lipstick (and the sour grapes between vB and XF sucks). Looks different but really isn't significantly better-if you want off of vB, pick one. The bonus is either would work for adv as well.

    If there's no hurry, would it be worth waiting to see if an abstraction layer comes for our current (or more desirable) database for NodeDB?

    I think we can solve the short term needs that folks have expressed a desire for while waiting to see the direction BB and NodeDB take.
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Mountain View, CaRegistered Users, Super Moderators Posts: 2,853 moderator
    edited August 28, 2014
    julianlam wrote: »
    David_S85 -- Yes, we have a very complete VB importer that you can use, or we can run it for you for a small fee if doing that kind of technical work is not your cup of tea. User account, posts, topics, and categories are preserved. Each importer is different, but at minimum, those are the bases covered.

    Baldy -- I recognize your avatar from our forums, I figured it was you :). Image uploading is not optimized for large images, and we recognize this pain point. Here are some thoughts on it:

    1. The process ought to be streamlined, and error messages should be more descriptive, I agree.
    2. We should expose more options to allow administrators to post-process uploaded images. One of our clients regularly uploads 5M+ shots of birds, which is overkill for digital screens. Having the server automatically resize them down to 720p (or less) would be much more preferable.

    It's something we recognize, although it is not at the top of our list of priorities at the moment.
    Julian, if you're still in this thread, can we set up a Skype with you, me, and a couple of key people at SmugMug? We've exhaustively looked at everything we can find from Discourse to Xenforo to everything in between and....they're ugly. They work and they're safe, but...

    Which brings up the question of whether you can really scale to the size of our forums and be stable. We have all kinds of questions about database choices, churn in the Node community, yada.
  • julianlamjulianlam Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 6 Beginner grinner
    edited August 28, 2014
    Hey there, yes, I'm still here. Although I was brought back by your message to me via NodeBB's chat, so perhaps I wasn't so much here, then eek7.gif

    Heh, last time I used that particular smily, it was 2002.

    I'd love to chat, I've sent you my skype details via chat. Let's get this show on the road! :D
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Mountain View, CaRegistered Users, Super Moderators Posts: 2,853 moderator
    edited September 25, 2014
    We're still working on this. On the good news front, we did hire a new dgrin community manager who starts in early October. He's one of us here on dgrin. Our plan is to have him spend some time with dgrin (perhaps 30%) and the rest as a product manager (70%).

    On the discouraging front, I've been looking at lots of options for better forum software, including ones I hadn't discussed before like Vanilla forums, Hoop.la, etc. I have trial accounts open at most of them.

    No doubt they'll all be a big step up from what we're using now, but I have concerns about them all. With NodeBB, which I love, the concern is scaling and who they use for hosting, or if we host it we have to deal with technologies we're not familiar with.

    So before pulling the trigger on so big a decision, I want to give our new dgrin community manager time to investigate too.
  • julianlamjulianlam Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 6 Beginner grinner
    edited September 29, 2014
    Baldy wrote:
    With NodeBB, which I love, the concern is scaling and who they use for hosting, or if we host it we have to deal with technologies we're not familiar with.

    Scaling is definitely something that's been on our minds, and we've spent the greater part of September working on just that. With clustering enabled with our latest improvements, we're seeing the capacity to handle over a thousand concurrent users at one time, and have recorded usage of well over 5 million pageviews a month, all on a customised plan for a client of ours.

    The option is always there for you guys to self-host, though we can alternatively assume the day-to-day maintenance of the forum, leaving your staff open to doing what they do best -- building a community.
    Baldy wrote:
    I have trial accounts open at [Vanilla/Hoop.la]

    I opened up a trial account for you for NodeBB as well, and colour matched it to your homepage. It's fully featured as well, so feel free to send some of your members there for a sneak preview. Their input would also be much appreciated. :D
    ian408 wrote:
    If there's no hurry, would it be worth waiting to see if an abstraction layer comes for our current (or more desirable) database for [NodeBB]?

    After this week's revelation that PostgreSQL's JSON data store is clocking in higher throughout compared to MongoDB, a PostgreSQL driver for NodeBB might not be far off... it does seem very enticing...
  • W.W. WebsterW.W. Webster Happily mirrorfree New ZealandRegistered Users Posts: 3,204 Major grins
    edited March 22, 2015
    Whatever happened to this initiative? Has it gone away? ne_nau.gif
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Administrators Posts: 21,581 moderator
    edited March 22, 2015
    Whatever happened to this initiative? Has it gone away? ne_nau.gif

    Still happening.
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,304 moderator
    edited March 22, 2015
    julianlam wrote: »
    ... a PostgreSQL driver for NodeBB might not be far off... it does seem very enticing...

    Has this been accomplished?
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • julianlamjulianlam Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 6 Beginner grinner
    edited March 27, 2015
    Hi ziggy53,

    No, we've continued our use of Redis and MongoDB, although we've been pushing forward on a bunch of front-end user interface improvements for our next version (0.7.0)

    You can give it a whirl here! https://community.nodebb.org

    If there is still interest, it's possible we could pursue a PostgreSQL driver, especially with their JSON data types. It's definitely more feasible than it was when we started, that's for sure.
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