XenForo, RDF and the shape of things to come...

Discussion in 'Announcements, Rules & Regulations' started by xydrine, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. xydrine

    xydrine Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood. Administrator Premium Member

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    EDIT (IMPORTANT): Unless otherwise mentioned here, we are planning to bring back functionality regarding nearly every aspect of the forum as it was on the vBulletin platform. These changes are being merged as we speak, but it takes time - so give us some time, please!

    Can you please not ask questions or make requests like "why can I see the politics forum? remove me please." <-- the answer is going to be the same exact thing each time, and is what I just stated above this sentence.


    Whew,

    I don't think I've been this tired in a long time (point of reference: I started writing this post on Tuesday, lol)... remind me never to migrate platforms again.

    I tested and fixed every possible issue I could before we migrated - and there was a bunch. The one thing I did not test was the permissions system XenForo uses - at least at the scale RDF would utilize it. There were too many to deal with so I essentially made a note that this will have to be done manually once the board is migrated. This ultimately led to what took so long for me to convert us over... I knew it was going to be somewhat of a redundant task going into it, but I guess I really didn't realize the scope of it until actually doing it.

    As you all know our access levels system is at the heart of this forum. With the way we designed it, there are many layers and very specific parameters which need to be in place to make this place work correctly. We started out with 156 usergroups in vBulletin, and are left with 14 here in XenForo. The way vBulletin deals with permissions and usergroups is significantly different than XenForo when it comes to access levels. This is what took the longest amount of time to do. Fortunately it's done and the hard part of the migration is over with.

    Anywayyyy, I decided to create a new thread about the upcoming changes we have planned as this subject is too important and I didn't want it to get lost in the thread we have up for the past couple of days.

    What I plan to do in this post is address need-to-know information, list certain things which are currently disabled (and why they are), create a list sorted by priority of things already complete, to be completed, and which are planned once the key issues are resolved.

    So let's jump right into that...

    One thing everyone needs to know is this...

    XenForo is significantly different than vBulletin. In terms of features, the vanilla version of XenForo has about the same as vBulletin. RDF's version of vBulletin... well that was the culmination of 5 years of customizations and plugins added to create the community you were all used to.

    So I can't imagine there is one person here who didn't think this... even I thought this once we came back online: why the hell did we switch from such a feature-rich platform to the piece of crap (in comparison) that is currently on our site (XenForo)?

    Well... once vBulletin started work on vBulletin 5 (we used 4), almost all meaningful work on vBulletin 4 stopped. Sure there have been fixes and crap over time, but nothing compared to what XenForo does, and this fact can easily be seen with the way the website works on mobile devices, as opposed to vBulletin - even after all of the customized changes I personally made to it. vBulletin is so many years behind web standards it's actually pretty sad. This is not the case with XenForo. And with the rapid changes happening to the web these days, this is extremely important.

    When choosing a platform to move to, we didn't make this decision on a whim. There are other platforms out there that were considered - IPBoard, Burning Board, etc. Out of the box IPB and WBB are a bit superior to XF in regards to features, however after doing a lot of research on potential, current addons, interchangeability with future apps we are going to be developing and etc... XF was really the only one I personally felt comfortable to proposing to the staff here as an option.

    --

    Anyway, let's get started on the lists... they will be somewhat basic - I lost the original thread I was typing up here when our power went out, and also because I am going to be putting the specifics into the project management board I intend on using for fixing RDF-related issues.

    Items Currently Completed:


    Initial Forum Migration
    Usergroup Consolidation
    Permissions Reorganization
    Basic Shoutbox Setup
    Basic Theme Setup

    To Be Completed:

    Initialize Project Management Board
    Reapply RDF Styling (gray is depressing!)
    Adjust various style properties (i.e. size of full-text post editor, etc etc etc)
    Re-implement Premium Membership/Donor Rewards
    Setup Credits (premium membership/donations/IT services) Payment System
    Setup CMS Addon
    Start Caching When Template Mods Complete
    Setup Social Groups Addon
    Configure & Activate Image/Video Gallery
    Configure & Activate Resource Manager
    BBCode Transfer
    ... (more continued in project management link)

    Planned:

    Setup Additional Addons
    ... (see PM system)

    I'll be posting the link to the project management board a little later - I really just wanted to get this thread out here now so you guys can start pointing out specifics about things you'd like to see updated which aren't on the above list.

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
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  2. GoWFO

    GoWFO If you have to go... GoWFO! Intermediate User Premium Member

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    As always Xydrine your work here is very appreciated and probably undervalued as most of us user have no idea what it takes to build and maintain a community like this. Thank you for all that you do.
     
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  3. xydrine

    xydrine Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood. Administrator Premium Member

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    Thanks.

    Just a heads up, I'll be making changes to styling over the next couple of hours so don't freak out if you see something awkward.
     
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  4. xydrine

    xydrine Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood. Administrator Premium Member

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    Please note that the Bug Reports section is now under the RDFARPA section. We will be converting said section into an RDF tech-oriented section of the forum - to deal with all technical things related to RDF.

    Bug Reports: https://www.rdforum.org/index.php?forums/62/

    Also, I created a website-related changes/suggestions section in there as well, visible here: https://www.rdforum.org/index.php?forums/184/

    I plan on using that new section to announce the creation of new features/changes to the site/request input from you all/allow for suggestions.
     
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  5. xydrine

    xydrine Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood. Administrator Premium Member

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    Still making tons of adjustments to color schemes, etc. Perfection is required.
     
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  6. Driver66

    Driver66 Probably driving Beginner User Premium Member

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    Not many people would have the fortitute and stick with it ness that a job of this magnitude requires. Much thanks for all your hard work and perseverance. I'm sure it is appreciated by all.
     
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  7. xydrine

    xydrine Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood. Administrator Premium Member

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    Thanks, I appreciate you guys not giving me a hard time about the downtime and crap. I didn't go into extreme specifics on why things took as long as they did, but it really really burnt me out completely for a few days. Honestly I was kind of relieved when my power crapped out here from the storm, working on the migration took so much out of me...

    I essentially had to completely redo our permissions system for XenForo, since vBulletin and XenForo work very differently when it comes to permission levels. I didn't realize this - to this extent at least - until I started working on it. I knew I was going to have to manually import permissions levels, but I didn't know I would have to completely rewrite them. This was the only thing I didn't test before bringing the forum down for the migration, and it resulted in literally 60-70 extra hours of work, when I was expecting only about 3-4 hours.

    I basically had to write an algorithm to export our vBulletin permissions levels, compact 66 usergroups from vBulletin into 14 for XenForo, and then spread them over 156 different sections/categories, each requiring a few manually-modified query string changes... resulting in essentially 156 SQL queries looking like this:

    INSERT INTO `xf_permission_entry_content` (`permission_entry_id`, `content_type`, `content_id`, `user_group_id`, `user_id`, `permission_group_id`, `permission_id`, `permission_value`, `permission_value_int`) VALUES ('0', 0x6e6f6465, '108', '12', '0', 0x67656e6572616c, 0x766965774e6f6465, 'content_allow', '0'), ('0', 0x6e6f6465, '108', '3', '0', 0x67656e6572616c, 0x766965774e6f6465, 'content_allow', '0'), ('0', 0x6e6f6465, '108', '14', '0', 0x67656e6572616c, 0x766965774e6f6465, 'content_allow', '0'), ('0', 0x6e6f6465, '108', '30', '0', 0x67656e6572616c, 0x766965774e6f6465, 'content_allow', '0'), ('0', 0x6e6f6465, '108', '13', '0', 0x67656e6572616c, 0x766965774e6f6465, 'content_allow', '0'), ('0', 0x6e6f6465, '108', '0', '0', 0x67656e6572616c, 0x766965774e6f6465, 'reset', '0'), ('0', 0x6e6f6465, '108', '4', '0', 0x67656e6572616c, 0x766965774e6f6465, 'content_allow', '0'), ('0', 0x6e6f6465, '108', '12', '0', 0x666f72756d, 0x766965774f7468657273, 'reset', '0'), ('0', 0x6e6f6465, '108', '5', '0', 0x67656e6572616c, 0x766965774e6f6465, 'content_allow', '0');

    I **** you not. I wanted to kill myself after learning that I'd have to make very unique and specific modifications to the SQL queries 150+ times.

    Anyway, it's all over so that's good. Sadly I'm still tired and recovering from that long weekend. But I'm glad to finally have a bit more energy now to start working on the stuff that I actually consider "fun" - implementing styling changes/adding features/etc.
     
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  8. Driver66

    Driver66 Probably driving Beginner User Premium Member

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    Based on everything I've read from you, this job has to suck beyond comprehension. If you feel suicidal over this at any time you know we're all here for you. IF there's ANYBODY here foolish enough to give you **** about ANYTHING after now going on 2 weeks worth of effort you've put into this site for us, I would imagine the repercussions for such a mistake would be swift and merciless. I can't speak for all but I'm sure just about everybody here cannot express enough gratitude for your Herculean effort. The results have been amazing, take all the time and as much downtime as you need to get this thing done, we'll wait. I would imagine there are more than a few free beers for you just about anywhere here in the states and plenty of other places too! Lol. I don't understand some of what you wrote in your previous post, but what I did get was, the worst is over, and for that I'm thankful for and to you!
     
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  9. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin Eat Lead Mothertrucker!! Beginner User

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    FWIW. I know I have been critical of the forum move but the improvements over the last few days have been noticed by me and is appreciated.

    Thank you.
     
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  10. xydrine

    xydrine Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood. Administrator Premium Member

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    Oh no, not really - just joking. I have a dark sense of humor. But much appreciated either way. ;)
     
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  11. Driver66

    Driver66 Probably driving Beginner User Premium Member

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    Whew, you had me worried I was seriously going to reach out to you. Thanks for clearing that up. Now back to work, so I can donate! That's a joke......but I do wanna donate.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
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  12. Deacon

    Deacon TXCTG Advanced User Premium Member

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    Stupid question: anyone figure out how to mark a section of the forum read?
     
  13. xydrine

    xydrine Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood. Administrator Premium Member

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    mfr.
     
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  14. Deacon

    Deacon TXCTG Advanced User Premium Member

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    Ah, it's a menu! Sorry, I honestly didn't think to hit that. Makes a lot more sense now. Thanks!
     
  15. xydrine

    xydrine Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood. Administrator Premium Member

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    Yeah no worries, I'm going to be adding some down arrows and all that jazz.

    I'm working on the navigation styling now (mainly the forum list blocks), I'll work my way there eventually.
     
    Deacon likes this.
  16. LeftLaneInPA

    LeftLaneInPA I have a nifty title. Beginner User Premium Member

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    (reads post, eyes start to bleed)
     
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  17. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin Eat Lead Mothertrucker!! Beginner User

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    I'm not sure if this has been addressed yet or if this is a case of "I'm an idiot", but one of the features I enjoyed in the last thread was the ability to what updates/posts had been posted since I last participated in a thread.

    I see there's something similar but it also adds info such as who liked my posts and when, which isn't really useful to me from the standpoint of picking up where I left off. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
  18. dyn0mitemat

    dyn0mitemat Premium Member Advanced User Premium Member

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    I have the same question as angry just posted ^^^. On vb I would use the two buttons up top 'my posts' and 'what's new'. I always used the 'my posts' to pickup where I left off at with conversations and such going on in threads
     
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  19. xydrine

    xydrine Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood. Administrator Premium Member

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    It has.
     
  20. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin Eat Lead Mothertrucker!! Beginner User

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    Care to elaborate? Even with now knowing it has been, I still can't figure out where to click.