|I am toying with the idea of moving this forum over to different forum software, namely phpBB2, which is Open Source developed by a gang of enthusiastic developers at:|
I have converted over the existing forum (ie. this one) from a backup about a week old. If you want to take a quick look, go here:
Note that since we have not yet officially moved to the new software, almost every category is locked so you can only view, not post. However there is a test section set up so you can experiment with making posts. Any postings made here will not be saved when (if) the forum goes live.
You will be able (should be able) to log in with your existing forum name and password.
Reasons for changing
Why change? Ah yes, that is the question. If you are used to the current forum I would be interested to hear whether you think the new one is an improvement or not, and if not, for what reason.
- More modern, "cleaner" look.
- Support for different styles. The phpBB forums can be customised with different templates, so that the same basic information can appear in different ways. So far I have installed only two styles, the subSilver style (the default) and one called "myApple", which has a look and feel of the Macintosh. Try changing to that (click on your profile to do it) and see what you think.
- Support for different languages. Although the bulk of the posts are in English, you can customise your profile to present the forum instructions (links etc.) in various languages. So far, I have installed:
Other languages can be added on request, if they are on this page:
I have attempted to auto-detect the language for each existing user based on their reported country of origin. If course, if you haven't listed a country you will default to English. You can change that with your profile. In cases where I wasn't sure (eg. countries with multiple languages) I have left it at English.
- Improved searching. You can search for words, recent posts, posts by a certain author, and various other things.
- Designed for large forums. As this forum gets larger some things, like the list of users, is getting a bit unwieldy.
- Private messaging. Using the forum you can send each other private messages. This does not use email at all, so you can communicate with other forum members without having to disclose your email address (or even have one). The private messages are effectively hidden posts, that only the people concerned see.
- Groups. We can set up groups of users (eg. MUSHclient users).
- Closed sections. By using groups, we can set up parts of the forum that can only be posted to (or seen) by members of certain groups.
- Improved presentation. Things like code blocks are more attractively presented, with a shaded background and box around them. Similarly for quoting things other people have said.
- Emoticons. I'm not sure I like these, but you can use small graphic images to show smiling faces etc. inside your posts.
- Previews. When making a complicated post you can preview how it will look before committing it to the forum.
- Extendible - the phpBB site has hundreds of mods (modifications) that can be applied to improve the experience. So far I have applied virtually none of them, but things available are stuff like lists of recent posts, appearance changes, recent news, and so on. Visit their site to see some of the things that can be done.
- Announcements and sticky topics. Topics that come up frequently can be made "sticky" so they always appear at the top of the list (eg. frequent MUSHclient questions), thus saving us answering the same questions all the time, hopefully.
- Same basic structure. The phpBB forum has a very similar overall structure to this one:
- Major sections (eg. MUSHclient)
- Topics within a section (they call them forums) - eg. MUSHclient -> Suggestions
- Threads - eg. MUSHclient -> General -> How do I do X?
- Individual posts and replies.
Please, if you are a regular user of this forum, check out the new version and see what you think. It will be slightly out-of-date, as it was done from a backup about a week ago.
There may be occasional problems with the conversion of forum codes, but the bulk should have gone across OK. Check out posts you have made, or refer to frequently, and see if there are problems with them.
If you find a problem please quote its URL, eg.
The topic numbers are exactly the same as in the current forum, so that topic above in the existing forum is at:
- Nick Gammon
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