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Author Topic: Forum Migration  (Read 985 times)
Universal_Audio
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« on: October 10, 2018, 01:28:56 am »

Hello
I was wondering if you have any plans to migrate the forum from Simple Machines to a newer forum platform.  I personally prefer Vanilla Forums.  Apparently you can somewhat simply migrate from SM to Vanilla.  Seems like the MouseBits community is constantly running into unnecessary errors.

Thanks!
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dolbyman
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2018, 11:02:04 am »

I think the issue is, that this whole torrent tracker package comes with this forum. So replacing the forum section would require a serious hack of the system
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kkocka
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2018, 05:20:36 pm »

We've discussed this in the past, but I agree with you, U_A. Unfortunately I don't have the know-how and can only contribute monetarily, though I'd absolutely love to see it as well. Admins only have so much time at the moment. I'm sure the day will come much like the end of Adobe Flash.
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wcool
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 07:34:25 pm »

Well, SirLamer did say he’s looking into it. I offered to fix the current issues in the mean time, but he doesn’t want that. So, I’m stuck at helping and since a couple weeks got into a new situation that makes it almost impossible for me to dedicate enough time to the project.

Another idea I’ve got was to pull the tracker and forum away from each other (not difficult at all) and do the following:
- Make current forum software read-only and viewable to members only (only do this if it cannot be migrated to a new forum software package).
- Set up a new, independent forum package (without torrent capability!).
- Create a couple new pages for the separated torrent system and integrate authentication into the new forum package.

In my opinion as a software engineer, this is the easiest, less painful and quickest route you can take with certain guarantees future-wise.

Just my 2c.

Cheers for now.
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Passionate software engineer, web developer, server administrator and especially affected by the Disney virus Smiley
Universal_Audio
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2018, 10:18:12 pm »

Did you see that Vanilla Forums offers migration services?  That's why I'm recommending them in particular.  I'm sure if cost is an issue, the entire MouseBits community could pitch in Wikipedia style, and fund a migration, with Vanilla figuring out the best way to migrate.

https://vanillaforums.com/en/services/migration/
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wcool
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2018, 08:18:23 am »

Yup, saw that. Honestly I’m more for open source forum softwares, because no cost and total customizing freedom. Vanilla does have an open source version, so that's a hurdle less (Vanilla open source). Besides, migrating a forum isn’t (usually) very tricky, which is confirmed by the easy Porter add-on: https://open.vanillaforums.com/addon/porter-core A few clicks is all that's needed nowadays, nothing special Wink

I’m all for the solution to separate the forum and tracker and make the tracker only accessible for activated users from the forum (the synchronization can happen in multiple ways). You need a server for the tracker anyway, so why not put a forum on there as well. It isn't that much more maintenance work if you use off-the-shelf software and keep it updated. Backups is easy as well, just use a provider that can take snapshots of the virtual machines and lets you download it (that last thing is very important). Another way is to make a simple backup script and download yourself (or automatically) every day. Problems solved and almost no maintenance necessary!

The forum is very easy to migrate as the SMF forum is totally self-contained. It would be another story if the XBTIT forum component was used. The tracker is also very easy to separate from the forum, because it uses (or duplicated) the authentication mechanism from the SMF forum (I looked into the sources of the used versions a while back). The tracker component is also the external one from Olaf v.d. Spek (XBT Tracker), which is a separate C executable. All the migration of the forum and rebuilding of a very small, but nice tracker frontend for users only can be created within one week(!) and maybe even quicker. Only I need the time to do it again (not at the moment, but I think in the coming months things will start to slow down again and then I would love to do something for the community). In the meantime I suggest to start poking SirLamer (not too hard and too much tho Smiley ) to try and get things going. Also, the forum software 'Flarum' (https://flarum.org/) looks promising as well and seems to be quite flexible (just an example).

BUT, before we can migrate the forum, the database (which I'm 99.9% certain it's the issue) has to be repaired and SirLamer don't want to give anybody access to it, due to privacy/security (which I had a couple ideas for as well on how to handle that). After that, we can migrate immediately if the new forum software has a migration script for SMF v1. If it doesn't have that, but does for v2, it's easy as well. I also spent quite some time to think of stuff to add that I think is missing on the site. With open source, you can create these things without restriction. With hosted, off-the-shelf, closed source, paid software it's a bit of a so-so. The thread with everybody's ideas in it (page 3, second post is my post with a boatload of options as well if you'd like to read it): http://www.mousebits.com/smf/index.php?topic=9609.0

Long story short: I'm all-in for a good solution and can start working on it shortly if people want me to, but I need to get SirLamer to the point where he accepts external help. To get him this far I need all the help from members I can get, so we can let him know that we want to move forward. I had plans to set up a poll and let members decide what they want to see happen to the site, but haven't got around in doing so, yet. I want to try to do that the coming days and would like to use it as a sort of petition to offer to him. It's the most democratic solution I can come up with.

Cheers

edit: Merged edits in post.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 12:07:54 pm by wcool » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2018, 12:58:46 pm »

My feeling is that SirLamer already has a migration plan in mind and will implement that plan "some day".
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wcool
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2018, 04:20:09 pm »

The big word is out: I created a poll with a load of options. I encourage everybody to read and vote Smiley
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