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Forum News (Updated December 30, 2017)

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  • Forum News (Updated December 30, 2017)

    1. The unapproved post issue has been resolved.
    2. SPAM has been reduced, but it is not completely gone. I am testing out different forum options to see what works best. So far, only very small changes have been made, and the SPAM has been greatly reduced. I have many more tools available, so the problem will completely go away at some point.
    3. The next task will be to fix the bugs that prevent merging threads and completing basic maintenance tasks.
    4. After 3 is completed, we will try to determine what is causing the delay when posting and refreshing pages. Once we determine what the problem is, we will fix it.
    5. After that, the "Be Nice" campaign will return in full swing.

    Thank you all for your patience.

  • #2
    #2 is near completion. Let's all bid the spammer a fond "au revoir" and "sayonara." Parting is such sweet sorrow...not. I know he has some accounts I have not yet banned, so I'm sure he will pop up from time to time. For the most part, though, it's game over.

    On to #3!


    • #3
      In regards to #3 and #4 in my first post. I have done some digging, and all of the issues were reported months ago. In some cases they were reported years ago. The problem is that the issues either can't be fixed, or there has been no response from the development team.

      For example, the ignore feature does not work. That was reported months ago. There was some discussion between MiceChat technical staff and the developers, and then it stopped when the developers stopped responding.

      Another example is the slow forum response time. That was reported immediately after the switch was made almost two years ago. Monorail Man made extensive modifications to the database to increase the response time, but there were still issues. The developers said they would look into it and then stopped responding.

      I now know that our current solution is no longer viable. Our contract is up in September, and we will have something much better and faster to replace it. This I guarantee. Of course, everything is ultimately up to the forum owner, but I will explain the current situation and that we must make changes.

      Thank you all so much for your patience. The replacement will be worth the wait.


      • #4
        Now that D23 has ended, I am going to arrange a time to meet with the forum owner to discuss changing the software and hosting company. I already know what software we need to move to and what host we should use. I just need to get approval. The cost is the same so that won't be an obstacle.

        Our contract with vBulletin ends on September 1, 2017. Ideally, we would go live with the new site prior to this, but there might not be enough time to make this happen. The worst case scenario is that we will extend with vBulletin for one month and then go live sometime in September.

        I will provide updates as they occur.


        • #5
          The forum is currently having issues. I can not moderate posts, and several members have problems dismissing notifications. I have reported the issue to vBulletin, so hopefully they fix it soon.

          ETA: The recent forum issues appear to be resolved.


          • #6
            We are still working on our migration to new forum software. This will not happen until September because there are some admin/housekeeping issues we want to take care of first.

            In September we will have test forums open using XenForo and Discourse. All MiceChatter's will be invited to preview very, very, very basic versions of the software that will allow you to test the functionality with no visual enhancements or other modifications. We will then create another thread where you can share your opinions.

            Again, thank you for your patience and we will provide updates as they occur.


            • #7
              The downtime earlier today was a vBulletin issue not related to anything involving our move to another host.


              • #8
                Today is September 15th, and as you can see, nothing has changed with the forums.

                The delay is entirely on me. My personal preference is to move to Discourse. The problem with this is that I think it will scare away too many members. Even though it would be faster and more modern, the look would be radically different. MiceChat has used vBulletin for 12 years, and it would be hard for some members to adjust to the changes.

                I think what we will end up doing is moving to a dedicated server, or a virtual private server that is very fast. We would install the full, standalone version of vBulletin on that server and see what happens. I think that would improve the speed issue and eliminate some of the bugs. It might even eliminate all of them. I think it's worth trying before we try different forum software.

                I am now hesitant to give a timeline because there is no real rush to do anything. All of the urgent issues behind the scenes have been resolved, and we can take our time. What we have now does work, sort of, so the urgency is gone.

                I will let everyone know when there are updates.

                Thank you for your patience.


                • #9
                  We are still going to move the forums from the current host. It's not if, but when. The forum owner and I are going to meet in December (probably...maybe), and we will discuss how we are going to proceed.

                  Here is where we stand, based on an educated guess.

                  85 percent probability we will keep vBulletin and move to a better host and much faster server.
                  10 percent probability we will move to XenForo.
                  5 percent probability we will move to Discourse.


                  • #10
                    DST settings have been adjusted. I thought it was done automatically. It was not.


                    • #11
                      Some users are getting the message, "Error fetching quotes. Please try again later" when trying to quote a post. I have been able to duplicate the issue and it has been reported to vBulletin. I will provide an update when the issue is resolved. Thank you.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PhotoMatt View Post
                        Some users are getting the message, "Error fetching quotes. Please try again later" when trying to quote a post. I have been able to duplicate the issue and it has been reported to vBulletin. I will provide an update when the issue is resolved. Thank you.
                        The issue appears to have resolved on its own.


                        • #13
                          It appears that the latest version of the forum software has modified existing avatars. You might want to upload yours again, or change it. I think the new version is more flexible than the old and it allows a wider variety of image sizes.


                          • #14
                            Here is how to use the multi-quote feature.

                            Click once on the word "Quote" at the bottom of each post you want to quote. At the top left of your browser you will see a button that says "Post Reply". It's blue by default, but it turns orange and then shows a number that increments each time you quote a post. Once you have selected all of the posts you want to quote, press the button. The selected quotes will appear in a new reply at the bottom of your browser.


                            • #15
                              The Litter Box is now closed for replies. If a post was moved there, it was done so for a reason.

                              We have finally made a decision as to how we want to proceed. Around the beginning of April (or sooner), the current site will be locked and no new posts will be allowed. All existing content will remain right where it is.

                              We are going to create a completely new site with new forum software and a new host. The new software will allow for community moderation, and we are going to have the Facebook moderators split their duties between the Facebook page and the new site.

                              I will provide more updates as we progress.


                              • #16
                                The MiceChat Forums v2.0 are officially a real thing now. No, they are not for the public yet, but a subdomain was created, a host found, Discourse has been installed, and it's now up and running. The next step will be to create the layout, and then we will get some people who can add a visual appeal to the site. Then we will bring the FB mods over to get them to test out the site. Once that is done, we will start giving some current members the link so they can join and give feedback.


                                • #17
                                  You will notice that the forums will be undergoing a re-design that more closely matches the main MiceChat page. This was actually planned more than a year ago, but it was not completed due to technical road blocks. I have resolved those road blocks, and now the designer of the main MiceChat page, Anthony Hays, will be working his magic over the next few days.

                                  The transition to the new forum software is on hold because we have discovered an issue with displaying ads. While we work that out, we are also trying to see if we can make these forums work the way they should.

                                  Thank you for your patience.