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Topic: Idea: forum migration? (Read 1010 times) previous topic - next topic

  • DaVince
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  • Used Sphere for, like, half my life
Idea: forum migration?
So SMF is apparently ancient and doesn't seem to be updated much anymore. Even now, it does not officially support PHP 7 and it is by sheer luck that it runs at all. Not to mention it's had many issues with spambots and the like, as well as just problems and shortcomings in general.

So I was thinking... Maybe we could migrate the forums to a more modern forum system? Not right away -- eventually!
I have stumbled across a much better option, one that will allow us to extend the forum system in a way that could grow the community as a whole a little.

I experimented with MyBB and it seems to work great and come with a TON of features on both the user and admin sides, as well as mods and themes. It seems like a much better option for the future. It seems to even cover migration from other forums (see attached screenshot), so that's pretty awesome.

But naturally, I wouldn't just make such a big change without receiving some thoughts on this.
  • Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 05:44:34 am by DaVince

  • Fat Cerberus
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  • miniSphere Developer
Re: Idea: eventually migrating the forum?
Reply #1
Yeah, it's easy to tell that SMF is showing it's age - using it feels like something out of the mid-2000s.  It was clearly designed before the social media era. :P  That said, it has served us well for what it is, and other than a few hiccups on mobile I haven't really been able to complain about anything specific.

The whole site also seems a lot more snappy since the upgrade too.  Well, other than the wiki, but you already knew that. ;)

As for myBB: Based on that screenshot I do like it, it kind of has that "retro" feel to it where it reminds me of the old forums while still looking modern at the same time.  I'd be behind such a migration 100%.
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  • DaVince
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Re: Idea: eventually migrating the forum?
Reply #2
The nice thing is that it has theme support, so it can be made to look a lot better. I like this Bootstrap-based one I found, for example.

  • Rhuan
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Re: Idea: eventually migrating the forum?
Reply #3
What is myBB like speedwise?

I've seen several newer forum solutions that for reasons unknown run a lot slower than SMF and other older options.

Sure SMF isn't the snazziest but it certainly runs smoothly (or at least appears to)

Re: Idea: eventually migrating the forum?
Reply #4
Assuming that the performance is reasonable, I think that being better maintained is a big enough plus given how important anti-spam and security (which also is a plus for newer PHP) is for forum software.

  • DaVince
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Re: Idea: eventually migrating the forum?
Reply #5
I have as of yet only tested it locally alongside SMF, but it's snappy and I couldn't sense any difference, even with the rather large post database imported into it. I think we'll be fine on that front.

So can I take this as a 'yes' from the community? I'll be putting up a little test version soonish, then!

Re: Idea: eventually migrating the forum?
Reply #6
Does MyBB have better support for code embedding/syntax highlighting?? That'd be the only thing that might be questionable that I can think of, but at worst I would expect you could just add it into the CSS manually.

  • DaVince
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  • Used Sphere for, like, half my life
Re: Idea: eventually migrating the forum?
Reply #7
Looks like there are two different mods that would allow syntax highlighting. Only thing is, they rely on different bbcode ([code-sh=javascript] or [geshi=javascript]). I'll experiment with them and see if I can modify them to just use the code tag instead.

  • Rhuan
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Re: Idea: eventually migrating the forum?
Reply #8
A test version sounds like a good idea to me, so we can all have a fiddle before deciding for sure if that's feasible.

  • DaVince
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  • Used Sphere for, like, half my life
Re: Idea: eventually migrating the forum?
Reply #9
As spambots are starting to find their way in and the SMF admin panel proves to be very limited, I find myself contemplating this more. Will set up a test version today.

  • DaVince
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  • Used Sphere for, like, half my life
Re: Idea: forum migration?
Reply #10
Actually, I figured I should look around a little more and it seems like a forum system like Flarum might be more inviting and conducive to discussion. Subforums work more like filters so that no matter what, the latest activity is shown at the top of the main forum really quickly and easily. Any thoughts on that?

Edit: I just discovered Elkarte, which is originally based on SMF and can directly use the SMF database, but it's apparently vastly improved. I'm going to have to experiment with these systems locally first and then come back on the best course of action.
  • Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 06:39:25 am by DaVince

  • DaVince
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  • Used Sphere for, like, half my life
Re: Idea: forum migration?
Reply #11
ElkArte looks pretty good in the end because it's basically an updated, maintained kind of SMF with more options, plugins and spam protection. Gonna put something online soon.

Edit: not looking too shabby.
  • Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 06:53:55 am by DaVince

  • DaVince
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  • Used Sphere for, like, half my life
Re: Idea: forum migration?
Reply #12
A test forum is now available at http://www.spheredev.org/ElkArte/
You can log in with the same credentials you use here.

  • Rhuan
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Re: Idea: forum migration?
Reply #13
Seems pretty decent at a first try, I';ll try it on my phone in a little bit.

  • DaVince
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Re: Idea: forum migration?
Reply #14
Good to know! It should be great on your phone, I noticed it's fully responsive. :)