Forum Downtime, software update Feb 20-21


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Janet H

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We are finally ready to convert the forum to new software.

To do this we'll need to close the forum. This is scheduled for Feb 6-7, beginning very early in the morning (subject to change if there are complications).

There will be some noticeable changes upon returning to open:

The forum colors and header image will be updated.

The Forum is moving to Xenforo software and all the usual controls will be available BUT buttons and functions will be moved around a bit.

Image storage and avatar size will be increased.

PM inbox storage will be increased

Responsive for mobile use: There is no mobile app needed. XenForo has a mobile view that is entirely responsive to device size. Use a browser to open the site and you'll have a good view.

New functions: many, but notably the ability to "like" a post and send an alert by posting @username to get someone's attention.

Image handling will be improved. You can still upload images in the usual way but will also be able to simply paste directly into a post (no copy-protected images are allowed).

Be patient after the site opens, it takes a little time to get settings dialed in :flowers:
 
Thanks for the notice ~ as an IT person, I know this can be a challenging time.
Good luck!
 
Good news, these updates are welcome to make the TRF more modern.
 
New functions: many, but notably the ability to "like" a post and send an alert by posting @username to get someone's attention.

In my experience, public "likes" on posts tend to make forums less welcoming environments, as they encourage posters to evaluate posts by their popularity instead of only their content and can be stressful or even intimidating for posters whose posts receive no or fewer likes compared to others, especially during disagreements when one party disproportionately receives likes. Would it be possible to make the "likes" only visible to the poster in the same way as the "thanks" feature (which I think accomplishes the same purpose without the negative side)?
 
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Hmmm yes I'd be a bit worried about a public 'like' feature, especially in some threads. I love the "thanks" feature.
 
I'm very excited to see the new updates!
 
I also suggest that with the new updates can incorporate posts from Twitter (currently X) and Instagram into the forum, this would be very useful.
 
Respectfully, here is an example of the concerns expressed in my last post: Imagine that Princess Y gives an interview, and the first forum post to comment on it states that her interview was perfect and the public criticism it is getting is the whining of jealous prejudiced petty people. This post soon receives 15 likes. If the 15 likes are visible to other posters, it becomes much likelier that posters who are critical of Princess Y's interview will subsequently refrain from posting, since it appears that the mood of the thread is severely against them. (Without publicly visible "likes", there would only be a similarly strong effect if there were 15 posts stating the same, but that is rare and much less likely to happen due to the greater investment required to make a post versus clicking "like".)
 
I also suggest that with the new updates can incorporate posts from Twitter (currently X) and Instagram into the forum, this would be very useful.


XenForo is able to incorporate Twitter and Reddit posts too so Instagram probably shouldn't be problem.
 
I share Tommu100 and Tatiana Maria's concern about the addition of the "Like" buttons, They have a strange way of de facto turning into a competitive score card rather than an appreciation of the content of the post. I have always liked this about this forum, it's non-competitive and non-combative nature. Squabbles are more easily settled, even if it comes to a temporary shutdown, but for those of a mind to keep score are worrisome without this facility so I have to admit that I will be holding my breath for the first three or four weeks and hope that the basic nature of the forum doesn't change.

I definitely like the "Thanks" button as it allows private thanks and encouragement.
 
I am not a fan of 'like' buttons. There is a lot of research coming out that 'like' buttons are one of the most harmful features of social media. If that is going to be a part then hopefully people will be able to disconnect the 'like' button so they a) can't receive any if that is their wish b) they can't see them and c) others can't see how many likes a post is given.
 
Or, you know, posters learn to scroll right past the "likes" of previous posts and don't let that influence what they post or don't post.

Frankly, I think that the general sentiments and opinions of most participants on this forum are pretty well-known to the frequent readers and participants and that whether we have a public "like" button or not, that won't change nor will it stop anyone from posting a contrary thought or opinion.
 
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Wow- I had no idea the “like” button was a controversial feature. Learned something new. I just saw it as a quick form of communication.
 
Hmmm yes I'd be a bit worried about a public 'like' feature, especially in some threads. I love the "thanks" feature.

A public "like" feature may play a part in tabloid stories, and herald a bunch of trolling posters joining.
 
Respectfully, here is an example of the concerns expressed in my last post: Imagine that Princess Y gives an interview, and the first forum post to comment on it states that her interview was perfect and the public criticism it is getting is the whining of jealous prejudiced petty people. This post soon receives 15 likes. If the 15 likes are visible to other posters, it becomes much likelier that posters who are critical of Princess Y's interview will subsequently refrain from posting, since it appears that the mood of the thread is severely against them. (Without publicly visible "likes", there would only be a similarly strong effect if there were 15 posts stating the same, but that is rare and much less likely to happen due to the greater investment required to make a post versus clicking "like".)

That's a very good point and example. On another forum I use, the like button can only be used by members which is fine; but I would be concerned about organised behaviour from certain "fans" who are prevalent on twitter etc.
 
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That's a very good point and example. On another forum I use, the like button can only be used by members which is fine; but I would be concerned about organised behaviour from certain "fans" who are prevalent on twitter etc.

The like function is configurable in various ways. As an example: The basic setup would be that only registered members can use the function but we could set it up so that only members with x number of posts could use it.

The internet has changed a lot in the 15 or so years since the thanks function was added to this forum and on balance, I think folks are used to like buttons at this point. We can monitor use for abuse but I think our members can use it responsibly. If not, we can adjust. :flowers:

XenForo will be a learning experience for all of us, myself included and I'd like to give it a chance before chopping out function. We might be happily surprised :)
 
The like function is configurable in various ways. As an example: The basic setup would be that only registered members can use the function but we could set it up so that only members with x number of posts could use it.

The internet has changed a lot in the 15 or so years since the thanks function was added to this forum and on balance, I think folks are used to like buttons at this point. We can monitor use for abuse but I think our members can use it responsibly. If not, we can adjust. :flowers:

XenForo will be a learning experience for all of us, myself included and I'd like to give it a chance before chopping out function. We might be happily surprised :)

Hi Janet, thank you for taking the time to reply :flowers: yeah we should certainly try it and see what happens, and if it's members only it shouldn't be an issue, hopefully ?

Good luck with the update, hope it all goes smoothly.
 
As long as we never introduce a downvote button, I'm happy with the coming changes.
 
Hi Folks - we are going to delay the software conversion based on the news regarding King Charles. Since the site would have to be taken offline for 2 days for conversion and there is high interest and concern about this health issue, we've made the choice to reschedule.

I'll post up some new dates as soon as they are set.
 
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Hi Folks - we are going to delay the software conversion based on the news regarding King Charles. Since the site would have to be taken offline for 2 days for conversion and there is high interest and concern about this health issue, we've made the choice to reschedule.

I'll post up some new dates as soon as they are set.


Will they do the software conversion this week? There shouldn't be any news about the King's health in the next few days, I think.
 
Is there already a scheduled date for software conversion?
 
No, not that we know us. Janet H will inform us when she knows more :flowers:.
 
Reminder: the change will happen tomorrow and the forum will be down for two days.
 
At hours will begin?
 
TBH I have no clue as this was not communicated. We will ask but I suspect the answer may not come on time to inform you.
 
The like function is configurable in various ways. As an example: The basic setup would be that only registered members can use the function but we could set it up so that only members with x number of posts could use it.

The internet has changed a lot in the 15 or so years since the thanks function was added to this forum and on balance, I think folks are used to like buttons at this point. We can monitor use for abuse but I think our members can use it responsibly. If not, we can adjust. :flowers:

XenForo will be a learning experience for all of us, myself included and I'd like to give it a chance before chopping out function. We might be happily surprised :)

Thank you for taking the concerns seriously and for the considerate response. The internet has changed a lot, but in my experience this forum has, perhaps unlike most, changed for the better in significant ways, and become an environment where grounded, informative and civil conversation between people of differing characters and opinions, including unpopular opinions, is more welcome and normalized in comparison to many social media spaces nowadays. I hope and trust that this will continue. :flowers:

(Apologies for taking time to respond, as it was difficult to verbalize my thoughts; I hope I do not cause any offense.)
 
Woohoo, we're back! And the forum is looking quite lovely. I like the new features. :)
 
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