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comanche club Forum Software. We need some input.


Automan2164
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Well guys, as you know we are currently experiencing some technical difficulties. It's finally starting to come to a bottle neck here, and it's getting pretty noticeable.

 

Bottom line is that we are so far behind on updates, that it's going to take some major surgery. I would compare it to either rebuilding a 4.0L into a stroker yourself, or just going out and getting a new one. There are a few options on the table.

 

Currently, our hosts aren't very experienced with our version of forum software which is phpbb. Phpbb is the most widely used free open source forum software. They can play with it to try and figure out what we need to do, or fix it, but it's going to run us $60 an hour until they get it fixed, which might not even happen.

 

Another option is to just get entirely new forum software. We have a member willing to set us up with a different style program, called IP.board. This software I am not as familiar with. He would be willing to do the work for free, as well as get us rolling.

 

Basically, Pete and I are sort of fishing for some input from you guys. What would you guys like to do? Do we want to pour money into our existing stuff and hope that we can get it right? Are any of you good with phpbb forums and could help get the bugs fixed and us updated? Do any of you know anyone who is good with the phpbb forums who could help? Do we want to try the new software?

 

So... What do you think?

Rob :dunno:

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Couldnt y'all go over to other jeeping forums and see if any addmins and such could help? Like bigger forums that use the same soft where that were using that might have already been though this? I think most if not all forums use the phpbb don't they? Hope y'all get it fixed as soon and cheep as possible, god speed :wrench:

 

Brandon

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How did we end up with hosts that have no experience with phpbb? It might be the most widely used freebie forum software.

 

How much are we going to lose switching the software??? Some of the specific tech stuff here is not repeated elsewhere.

 

Do we have any comparable forums on the IP software we can take a gander at to see if it is gonna be usable?

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If you are looking for another helping hand, I've had experience with phpbb, IP Board, and SMF, and I wouldn't mind helping to organize and/or migrate. Who hosts the site now? It seems a little odd that they have no experience with phpbb... IMO, I would move hosts in that case.

 

Either way, let me know. I've not sure how badly damaged this current one is, but phpbb has always been an easy one to play around with. As long as you don't lose the information that's stored...

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I stand by what I said in another post that I like the way that the site is set up. It's not overly complicated to nevigate and I always get in the same groove with my flight path when I'm on. My two cents are that if things need to change then would it be possible to keep the same layout? Just like Mr. Rogers... I like my routine. I might not hang up my jacket and put on a comfy sweater, but I definitely like the familiar feel everytime. Ever notice how his crib never changed color or mixed up the furniture? Mr. McFeely would have to look twice at the address when dropping off the mail! Not to mention that Trolly just might fall right off his track if there was a throw pillow in the way... then how would Lady Aberlin know when to turn on the charm?

 

On a side note, I like to compare the Mr. Roger's Neighborhood characters to members on CC. Want to know which one you are?

 

I digress... moral of the story is that I like the atmosphere and feel of how it is now. For me, for the other creatures of habit, and for Mr. McFeely please keep things as close to the same as possible.

 

Hello neighbors.

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I don't have experience in any type of forum software, my knowledge is just in bare bones programming. I'd vote for whatever would be the cheapest route, and what's the most reliable.

 

It's all about site stability. If you stay with the Phpbb system, how reliable do you think your server hosts are going to be with maintaining it if it's as far behind on being updated as you say? Obviously, they've keeping everything running, but If you already know for a fact they barely know how to operate a widely used hosting format, what's to say they'd know what to do if *god forbid* the site crashed? Do you or Pete have any experience in doing this type of work; and if not, who do you know that'd be dependable enough to help maintain it if your go-to guy's now aren't available?

 

Not only that, but I also agree with Whowey. There's a lot of info that's not repeated anywhere else that could possibly be the victim of running maintenance or switching to a new system.

 

Not trying to be a debbie-downer here, but I'm just looking at it realistically. If you can have maybe 3 competent people that know how to manage and maintain a Phpbb system, then I would stick with what's working. If not, then see if either of you and the forum member can possibly find a way to give the IP.Board system a "trial run", and see if you two like it as opposed to what you guys are already running here. Maybe you could see if any other Jeep or car forum is running the IP.Board system and talk to the guys running them? Find out how easy it is to maintain, update, etc etc.

 

Just my twocents.gif

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What I want for this forum:

-a better spam catching program

-a smart phone program

-functional polls

-maybe a chat feature

-I like simplicity. I'm not a fan of complicated or flashy websites.

 

the main problem with our phpbb is that years ago we were way behind in our updates (my fault) and then did an update with whatever patch was the closest fit. Seemed to work ok with some minor problems (like the polls). But the kicker is that this has caused all update attempts since then to precipitate bugs and craziness exponentially and the site becomes unstable and we are forced to revert back to the merely glitchy version you see today. So we're stuck with a glitchy forum that doesn't want to take updates. On top of that, it's my understanding that trying to get a smart phone program in what we currently have is, lets say "complicated".

 

Does someone here think they can make the polls run again? They need some line-by-line TLC.

 

Does anyone know how to take all our pertinent data out of the current software and put it into the newest version of phpbb? I'm told this is not as easy as it sounds since phpbb doesn't have a program to do it.

 

 

oh and just to clarify, our hosts are not responsible for our software, just hosting the site on their servers. They have been very helpful, it's just that phpbb isn't their specialty and this current dilema isn't normal. heck, the phpbb people they have talked to aren't sure what to do. :dunno: We're unique. :D

 

oh, and our data is regularly backed up by our hosts and will be backed up in a separate location before ever attempting to switch or update. We will always have this version as a backup. :thumbsup:

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I don't know crap about programming. But here's what I like about the technical side of this board:

 

1. I am not wading through seriously annoying ads like on Jeepforum, NAGCA, and Pirate.

 

2. Its free other than the small donation that everyone should give periodically,,,,,speaking of that, I ought to make another paypal soon.

 

3. Everything works, I like the pic and video posting buttons. A lot of other forums do it in 5-10 clicks, while I can do it here in 1-2 clicks.

 

4. The great smiley choices: :banana:

 

5. If you lose the dancing banana I will be sorely disappointed.

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the only issue I've encountered is links not opening in new tab.

 

Pete/atuoman2164 if you like I can check with another site I belong to that uses the same software to see what version they are using.

 

maybe even try to put you admins in contact

 

edit 04-27-12 : phpbb version : 3.0.10 is what is running --- the IT admin offered help if you wish --- :wrench:

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i don't know anything about this kind of stuff but my local club just updated to a newer site. its an IP.Board 3.2.3 or so it says at the bottom of the page. very easy to use and works great. give it a look if you'd like.

 

www.midsouthjeeps.com/forums/index.php

 

 

i don't know if you have to pay or what but from what the guys who set it up says it easy to do and easy to work with

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I like the interface offered. Very clean and simple. It reminds me of our current site with none of the frilly BS cluttering everything up.

I'm torn, I partially agree with Ben in trying to keep it similar to what we know and are used to. However if the current software has gotten as rickety as it has, maybe a change to IP.board is a good idea depending on costs of course. Providing the data can be imported, I'd like to see it go that way. Plus working polls, better spam blocking, tapatalk or smartphone compatibility, etc would be icing on the cake.

 

Of course this is all compelling me to make a proper PayPal contribution. :cheers:

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I don't think a switch to a new forum is warranted...yet. What should be tried first is to get a host established on a virtual machine and load the newest phbb software. Then tinker around with it and upload the current ComancheClub.com database and record the steps taken on the virtual "offline" server before doing it with the current host. That way we can keep the current broken board limping along while we figure out how to transfer it to the new one and we can minimize downtime.

 

I've done this twice before when I was hosting forums (Simple Machines Forums) because the update/upgrade process wasn't always intuitive. I would have to do some reading and refreshing of my memory to figure out how to create the virtual machine to set it up as a host, but I'd be willing to do that if the admins would be willing to fork over an old database file for me to play around with. I'm not familiar with phbb so I'd have to dig into it and see how it works.

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I have ran into other forums administrators that say the same thing about phbb - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and there is no rhyme or reason as to why.

 

However, I'm still not convinced a complete switch is the answer. I still think an "offline" beta version of the site needs to be tested on someone's server (I've got one I can set up) to put the latest phbb software on it and then upload the database and other settings into it to figure out the steps that need to be taken. Honestly it sounds like the forum admins are already doing that in some fashion as Pete has said he has tried newer versions, but has always had to revert back to an older one to have a functioning board and I don't recall this site ever being down for site maintenance.

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When I say that updates were attempted, I mean that our hosts have graciously applied the phpbb patches that are supposed to update the software. that level of computer manipulation is beyond my skill set (or at least beyond my comfort level). the proper patches just didn't exist for our out-of-date version, so they tried he closest one. The first time we did it, we got us what you see now. the next time we tried to update (like a year later) it only gave us unusable crap so it was reversed.

no one has yet attempted a manual upload of our data into a newer version.

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  • 3 weeks later...
i don't know anything about this kind of stuff but my local club just updated to a newer site. its an IP.Board 3.2.3 or so it says at the bottom of the page. very easy to use and works great. give it a look if you'd like.

 

http://www.midsouthjeeps.com/forums/index.php

 

 

i don't know if you have to pay or what but from what the guys who set it up says it easy to do and easy to work with

 

technically this is the current address:

http://midsouthjeeps.com/forum/index.php

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I have ran into other forums administrators that say the same thing about phbb - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and there is no rhyme or reason as to why.

 

However, I'm still not convinced a complete switch is the answer. I still think an "offline" beta version of the site needs to be tested on someone's server (I've got one I can set up) to put the latest phbb software on it and then upload the database and other settings into it to figure out the steps that need to be taken. Honestly it sounds like the forum admins are already doing that in some fashion as Pete has said he has tried newer versions, but has always had to revert back to an older one to have a functioning board and I don't recall this site ever being down for site maintenance.

 

I was thinking perhaps a fresh install of phpbb and then use the backed up database.

 

I could make an additional forum install on my server and then try to load it with a backup of our current database.........but for all i know thats what you did and it didn't work.

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I was thinking perhaps a fresh install of phpbb and then use the backed up database.

 

I could make an additional forum install on my server and then try to load it with a backup of our current database.........but for all i know thats what you did and it didn't work.

 

That is precisely what I did, to the T.

 

I even tried doing it using multiple methods. First, the easy method of backing up our current database through the phpBB control panel, then uploading the database to the fresh install. It seemed to transfer all of the members over, but all forum content was missing.

 

Next I tried to take the backed up database and do it using a slightly more "manual" method of creating the database in MyPHP and dumping all of the content in there. Still didn't work. In fact, that method turned out to be an abomination.

 

From what I can tell, the automated phpBB backup of the forum isn't complete, but I'm not enough of a database expert to know what is in there and what isn't. The next step I would need to take would be to gain access to the server side of ComancheClub so I can get access to MyPHP and work from there as I would have a lot more control over the database than what phpBB offers in their admin control panel. I'm not sure I'd want to even attempt that since I'm not well-versed enough in it. It's kind of like working on a foreign automobile for me. I know what is what under the hood and could eventually figure out how to fix it, but not without breaking a thing or two :D

 

All is not completely lost, though. I'm still going to help out Pete and get a better "captcha" going so that we don't get all of the spambots registering. I'm concerned that each one is unnecessarily taking up valuable database space with each account that is created. Regardless if they are activated by Pete, they are still taking up a spot in the database. There are literally 50+ account per day that are signing up for the forums. Although I haven't seen a new user e-mail in a few days...maybe Pete fixed something?

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