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Move to new forum software? - Printable Version

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+--- Thread: Move to new forum software? (/Thread-Move-to-new-forum-software)

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Move to new forum software? - shuttertalk - Sep 16, 2005

Hi all,

I've been thinking about ditching the forum software and going with something more widely accepted and supported in the web community - something like phpbb. Punbb is cool because of is efficiency and leanness, but for our needs I've had to install countless mods and hack it beyond all recognition. Big Grin And recently we've been plagued by things such as redirection problems, editing problems and all sorts of things which happen intermittently and are very hard to get to the bottom of.

The main reason holding me back from moving was a lack of a converter, which would mean that we would lose all existing posts or having to start off afresh and/or having a "legacy" board with old topics hanging around.

However, I went to the phpbb forums today and lo and behold - there seems to be new converter, which is pretty successful according to the reports. This give me hope as well - perhaps there are converters to other boards out there (such as invision or vbulletin)?


The other option of course, is to upgrade the current board to the latest version of Punbb (we're running a few versions behind). The new one promises a slicker interface, greater security, some new features, etc.


I'd like to hear your thoughts on this... any preference which way we go?


Jules


Move to new forum software? - EnglishBob - Sep 16, 2005

I run 3 different installations of phpbb without any problems..... but 2 others that I am a user on have crashed horrifically on a regular basis... of course it could just be the operator.


Move to new forum software? - Rufus - Sep 16, 2005

Better the devil you know........................................


Lets stay with the current system.

Maybe. Rolleyes


Move to new forum software? - Polly - Sep 16, 2005

I think you should go with the software you, and the mods/admin, find easiest to manage.. provided it has good technical support facilities for you to refer back to if/whe nproblems develop.

.... I don't mind what you use, as long as we can post pix, preferably up to about 600-650 pixels wide. and approximately 150-200k maximum.

Pol


Move to new forum software? - Gujustud - Sep 16, 2005

I run a few forums site, the biggest being mazda6club.com (13,000members+). I highly recommend invisionboard.com. Their support is superb, and so is their forums software.


Move to new forum software? - Petographer - Sep 16, 2005

Sounds like you might have some good help from our member Amish no matter what you decide to do Jules. It would seem that an upgrade might be the easiest thing to do for the time being. If problems still persist then a change might be in order. I'd hate to see us lose everything. It would be like a new forum again and I'm not sure how that would reflect on people first coming to Shuttertalk.


Move to new forum software? - Gujustud - Sep 16, 2005

We were running on a old old board system before (openbb). I put forth the money ($60usd) and had IPB (invisionboard) do the conversion process for me. It took a while, and the boards were down for a week or two, but we finally got it all done.


Move to new forum software? - shuttertalk - Sep 16, 2005

Thanks for the feedback guys ...

I'm quite interested in Invision as well, as their product seems very slick and they offer lifetime upgrades and support for a once off fee (yes, it's not free software Sad). And they have other products such as a gallery which integrates straight into the forums - so that could be very cool indeed.

However, Invision don't have a converter for punbb (yet). Although perhaps I could go the long way and convert to phpbb and then convert again to Invision.

I'll probably set up a few test boards of Invision, vBulletin and Phpbb, do a test conversion and play around with the features to see which one suits our needs the most. When that happens I'll invite everyone to hop on to the test boards to have a play around too...


Move to new forum software? - shuttertalk - Sep 16, 2005

Polly Wrote:.... I don't mind what you use, as long as we can post pix, preferably up to about 600-650 pixels wide. and approximately 150-200k maximum.

Yes, new candidate definitely has to allow posting of piccies. Big Grin


Petographer Wrote:I'd hate to see us lose everything. It would be like a new forum again and I'm not sure how that would reflect on people first coming to Shuttertalk.

Agreed. I definitely want to ensure that we don't lose all our current posts... they're way too valuable. Even if half of it is about dogs Big Grin (just kidding)...


Move to new forum software? - EnglishBob - Sep 16, 2005

I have used invision in the past, though version 3 I believe. and suffered catastrophic database failure every few weeks with it. We used it very briefly over at www.counter0strike.net and it was horribly unstable and slow.

I think part of the problem stemmed from the lead programmer leaving to set up Ikonboard, an almost identical bbs system.

vBulletin we also used at counter-strike.net and it was okay, just got very slow with over 100k users! We probably used Vb for the longest of all but the current system. It was the one we had the least problem with hackers on too.


Move to new forum software? - Petographer - Sep 16, 2005

I have to add that I did not choose anything in the poll as I'm not sure if I should choose #2 or #3. I don't know enough about the software to make any recommendations.


Move to new forum software? - Irma - Sep 16, 2005

Sorry not to give my vote here but I don't know much about this topic. I have been to some forums that are very difficult to understand at the first time, or very slow, and I just don't go back again.

I agree with Petographer and Polly's post.

Irma.


Move to new forum software? - jericho - Sep 17, 2005

Whatever you decide works for me Jules. If it a couple of $$ per person to help finance it, count me in!


Move to new forum software? - Petographer - Sep 17, 2005

jericho Wrote:Whatever you decide works for me Jules. If it a couple of $$ per person to help finance it, count me in!

Me too.


Move to new forum software? - Rufus - Sep 17, 2005

Petographer Wrote:
jericho Wrote:Whatever you decide works for me Jules. If it a couple of $$ per person to help finance it, count me in!

Me too.


And me. Big Grin


Move to new forum software? - noisynoodle - Sep 17, 2005

And me! (Can't stand being left out of anything Big Grin )


Move to new forum software? - Irma - Sep 17, 2005

And me as well Smile


Move to new forum software? - shuttertalk - Sep 18, 2005

Wow, thanks for all your support everyone! I'll try out the trial versions first, I'll let you know whether we'll be going down the paid route or not...


So Craig, of all the forum software you've used / admined, which one do you think is the best, and why?


Move to new forum software? - EnglishBob - Sep 18, 2005

Vbulletin is the most stable i've used, tons of features and very reliable.

PhpBB is probably the best free one I've come across. Lots of mods for it, stable most of the time, though it is prone to SQL errors now and again. But that may well be more to do with the server it is running on as mine has been rock solid in all 3 installations I have.


Move to new forum software? - shuttertalk - Sep 22, 2005

Ok folks,

I've tried a couple of things so far:

1. Upgraded a copy of the forums to the latest and greatest version of punbb. The upgrade process was pretty successful - retained all the users and posts. Looks like polls got lost though - that was a mod/hack I applied, and not a base feature. Note too how bare and lean the base install of punbb is - it is very elegant, but I miss the creature comforts of bbcode buttons, uploads, polls, etc.

http://www.shuttertalk.com/punbb/


2. I've also installed a copy of Simple Machines Forums (SMF) which is a pretty popular open source forums software. Now this is one neat little thing. It has a ton of features out of the box, is fast, and installing/uninstalling/upgrading mods is as simple as pointing and clicking. I don't even have to touch an editor or FTP client. Amazing! The conversion process also went smoothly - all users, posts, etc. came across.

Some features I'd like to point out:
- Handles uploads and attachments (not just images, but other files as well), and generates thumbnails for images, e.g.
- Staticstics and more statistics!
- Calendar with events and birthdays!
- Real tracking of read and unread posts
- Other cool little features such as rewarding members with karma points if they help you out, etc...

http://www.shuttertalk.com/smf/


Anyway, do test drive the two links above and tell me what you think. Feel free to post, edit, test, do what ever you want to those forums - they're just test ones. They'll get blown away at some stage, so don't get too attached to them. Big Grin

I'll also look at installing phpbb - the conversion process might be a bit fiddly for that one...


Move to new forum software? - Rufus - Sep 22, 2005

Well, after a brief scan, I prefer what we already have.................. :/


Move to new forum software? - shuttertalk - Sep 22, 2005

Lol... fair enough... any particular reason? Big Grin


Move to new forum software? - StudioJ - Sep 22, 2005

I have to agree, I quite like this one although it may be that the others look fairly spartan in comparison as they aren't fully fleshed out. SMF looks quite clean though and not as chunky.


Move to new forum software? - Irma - Sep 22, 2005

Sometimes we have pictures bigger than 600 pixels and the scroll bar appears in your browser, and makes bigger the text area, then to read the subsequent posts you have a long line of words to read and well, it is difficult to read and I really don't like it...

I checked our most recent post, Pete panoramic of his car... and well SMF did it very nice... the scroll bar appears in the picture and the size of the text area doesn't change.. I like this... If you see that picture in punbb the picture was resized to the size of the text area and in this case and you can't see anything....

I like also the features you mentioned above...

Irma.


Move to new forum software? - shuttertalk - Sep 22, 2005

Irma Wrote:I checked our most recent post, Pete panoramic of his car... and well SMF did it very nice... the scroll bar appears in the picture and the size of the text area doesn't change.. I like this...

Yeah, pretty neat feature isn't it?


By the way, the "theme" or style of the forums you see are just the defaults - whichever one we go with, I will definitely tailor to make it suit our site more...