New forum software - feedback wanted

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Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
There is the possibility that the site will be migrating to new forum software in the near future.

The benefit is a much better forum, designed with the latest features and functionality in mind such as RSS, Facebook & Twitter integration, being able to "like" posts, etc.

The drawback is initially there will be no Chat, Calendar, Gallery or possibly home page.
So essentially the site would revert to a basic forum with little else until we build all the new pages.

How does everyone feel about that?

Would it be preferable to keep the site as it is with all the other pages?
Or would it be better to switch to the new forum software sooner and build the site back up over time, even better than it is now?

The likelihood is it won't take place until after the F1 season has ended, thereby minimising the impact on the usability of the site.
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
I'd say push ahead with the new software, especially if it's the close season, as chat, front page, etc won't be as popular during that period. Much better to get any forum bugs ironed out when things are fairly quiet so that they're all ready for the start of the 2011 season.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
We've already started work on the next version of the site anyway.

All it means now is we will incorporate this new forum software into that redesign.
 

tooncheese

Hans Heyer
Contributor
Great stuff, its nice to know in advance. Just one question, won't we get an influx of new members just after the season ends as f1 fans become bored with the lack of F1?
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
tooncheesef1 said:
Just one question, won't we get an influx of new members just after the season ends as f1 fans become bored with the lack of F1?
Not sure really, that didn't happen for the last 2 seasons.
If anything we actually lost members who just drifted away in the off season.

Ideally we would like to launch the new design with everything in place but there probably isn't enough time for that, not to mention that the functionality for chat, calendar, etc. doesn't currently exist for the new software, so our aim is to get the basics done and then add bits as we go.

As a minimum we would be aiming for the forum and possibly home page as a start and then some more bits and pieces prior to the start of the 2011 season.
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
Its best to keep it until the end because with races to go and a BIG championship fight, we do need Chat open for race weekends.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I'd say go for it. We could wait a bit for the Calendar and Home page but I would say that the first thing after the basic site that needs to be added would be a working chat feature. This would certainly need to be in place prior to the start of the season.

The main USP for the site remains our overtaking stats and data and none of that should be affected by the migration so we shouldn't have too many problems there.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
McLarenSupremo said:
Its best to keep it until the end because with races to go and a BIG championship fight, we do need Chat open for race weekends.
Chat will definitely be staying until the end of the current season :)

cider_and_toast said:
I would say that the first thing after the basic site that needs to be added would be a working chat feature. This would certainly need to be in place prior to the start of the season.
That can't be guaranteed unfortunately as the chat application will have to be coded from scratch for the new site, unless we can come up with an interim solution.

The main USP for the site remains our overtaking stats and data and none of that should be affected by the migration so we shouldn't have too many problems there.
Indeed it won't and we have big plans for that and the database as a whole :)
 

Grizzly

Bear
Contributor
Sounds good Brogan. Waiting to the end of the season is a good plan and you/everyone will then have a couple of months to get everything working just so again..

What software are you going for? My friend wrote chat software for the new VB4 forum software... but i guess you are staying php?
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
Don't like the idea of no chat or home page - don't these define the site along with the wonderful stats?
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Grizzly said:
What software are you going for? My friend wrote chat software for the new VB4 forum software... but i guess you are staying php?
I'm going for a brand new forum solution which isn't yet available.
The beta will be out in a few weeks and then it will go stable several weeks or a month or so later.
It will be a paid solution, as opposed to a free one which is what we have currently.

If you want to get a heads up, have a look at it here: http://xenforo.com/community/

Some of the innovative features can be seen in various videos in this forum: http://xenforo.com/community/forums/have-you-seen/

Anyone is free to register on that site if they want to have a play with the software before we switch to it, although it is primarily a support forum for site admin's and people who will be purchasing the software, etc.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
jenov2003 said:
Don't like the idea of no chat or home page - don't these define the site along with the wonderful stats?
Don't worry jen, the home page will be back, better than before too - we're currently working on that.

As for chat, there will be something in place ready for next season, even if it's a temporary solution.
It rarely gets used between races so I can't see it being missed too much from mid November to March next year.
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
Brogan said:
jenov2003 said:
As for chat, there will be something in place ready for next season, even if it's a temporary solution.
It rarely gets used between races so I can't see it being missed too much from mid November to March next year.

How will I wish everyone a Happy Christmas?
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
jenov2003 said:
Brogan said:
jenov2003 said:
As for chat, there will be something in place ready for next season, even if it's a temporary solution.
It rarely gets used between races so I can't see it being missed too much from mid November to March next year.

How will I wish everyone a Happy Christmas?


A very merry thread :D
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
Hey Brogan.
I think the new forum software sounds like a brilliant idea. As for chat, there are a number of options that could replace it if it can not be incorporated into the new forum software.

My first thoughts would be an IRC server... I've used this quite a lot, so would be happy to do some research if you think it is a good idea. There could be a PHP link screen from the forum, as well as direct access for those people that use IRC, and have IRC clients.

Just a thought, but it may well be the simplest solution :)

There are several free servers, and the config files could be ported from the website domain. Let me know :)
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Hi MD, yes IRC is one option but it's not my preferred option as a lot of people won't know how to use it; changing username, etc.

Another is to keep the existing chat and hack the registration and login so logging in to the new forum will automatically log you in to the old database so you can still use chat.

Plenty of time before we need to start looking into that in any detail though - we have to get the new site built first :D
If we do decide to go the IRC route then I'll be in touch to take you up on your offer of help :)
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
What forum software are you planning on running Bro? Oh and hi :) Been absent recently because of work, but back now :)
 

F1Yorkshire

Avatar for sale to the highest bidder
Contributor
The ideas for the new forum are looking good!

If your needing any testers for when the forum starts to go live I usually have a fair bit of free time during the day.
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
F1Yorkshire said:
The ideas for the new forum are looking good!

If your needing any testers for when the forum starts to go live I usually have a fair bit of free time during the day.


Echoed :)

Can't believe how editable the new software will be. Looks really excellent. Looking forward to it.

P.S.

I think we should go for a fluorescent pink and tango orange style :D
 
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