Important Orbiter Forum Migration to XenForo

Xyon

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It's been a little while in the making, but I'm finally ready to announce our migration to XenForo, as discussed at length in my last major announcement.


I've pulled everything needed for the migration into a Trello board, which you may peruse here to see how things are going:


https://trello.com/b/ljSnSuo4/orbiter-forum-xenforo-migration


I will announce a period of downtime shortly when the actual migration will take place (I have a card for that, too). Please join me in some excitement!
 

jgrillo2002

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Here is my question though. What are the advantages of XenForo as compared to this board?
 

Xyon

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Here is my question though. What are the advantages of XenForo as compared to this board?


  1. It's supported and backed by an active development community, meaning security fixes get shipped out in a timely fashion, which is a concern with our current version of vBulletin.
  2. It befits our use much, much more closely than vBulletin 4 or 5 do, and many of the features we have relied on outdated "hacks" or modifications for on this board are built-in features of XenForo.
  3. The modification ecosystem is significantly more active and healthy than the comparable vBulletin one.
  4. XenForo's support have already been much more quick to respond to my inquiries than the VB5 team.
  5. XenForo allows for a more programmatic approach to future developments I'm pushing forward for Orbiter Forum and OrbitHangar - developing a complete Single Sign On environment backed against modern oauth2 implementations with Orbiter Forum as the central auth provider, something not possible even with the latest version of vBulletin.
  6. It doesn't look like it was made in 1994.
I could go on, probably, but those are the main ones. Security and stability are paramount, and everything else is secondary, really.
 

Artlav

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I never understood why 6 is considered a problem. Change the pipes, don't change the porcelain.
 

Linguofreak

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I never understood why 6 is considered a problem. Change the pipes, don't change the porcelain.
Amen. A post-2000-style UI is a huge turn-off for me when it appears in any software, for both aesthetic and ease-of-use reasons. But, at least as far as aesthetics is concerned, the two of us seem to be part of a very small minority, and although the fact that this forum attracts STEM-types means that people with our aesthetic preferences are probably overrepresented here compared to the general population, I'm not sure we're anywhere close to being a majority. At this point, I'm pretty much resigned to UI decay as a fact of life, even if I still hold out hope that, in the Linux sphere, someone will hostile-fork GTK2 and give us GTK 2+i.
 

Face

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But, at least as far as aesthetics is concerned, the two of us seem to be part of a very small minority, and although the fact that this forum attracts STEM-types means that people with our aesthetic preferences are probably overrepresented here compared to the general population, I'm not sure we're anywhere close to being a majority. At this point, I'm pretty much resigned to UI decay as a fact of life, even if I still hold out hope that, in the Linux sphere, someone will hostile-fork GTK2 and give us GTK 2+i.
Make that three. I also find "modern" designs disgusting, to say the least.

My hope is on some clever Jobs-type guy that sells the old style as innovative again, when the masses finally lost collective memory of usable UIs.

In the meantime, as long as the things I need are at least achievable, I can live with disgusting UIs. There are so many bad things I have to live with every day, one more is not making much difference.

Oh BTW: happy holidays! :cheers:
 

Xyon

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The UI design and layout is more pertinent than you might perhaps realise at first glance.

For one thing, modern design technologies are much more considerate to accessibility concerns, meaning users who are less able to consume a "traditional" text-on-screen format can still enjoy the content available. Some of this is in the colours being chosen, some is in the clean, HTML-5 based structural frontend components that modern adaptive screen readers expect. Scraping vBulletin 3 for content isn't much fun, because it doesn't lend itself to that activity particularly well - the actual important content isn't signposted for the screenreader at all, and it's well entrenched in a maze of nested tables that don't help.

In turn, said structural concepts make the frontend more relevant to today's development concepts, which eases the difficulty of maintaining them and keeping things secure. Given how complex browsers have become and how much access to the system they have, frontend web security is actually quite important too, and again this wasn't a particular design goal in 2003.

I will always prioritise function over form. But in the case of the frontend of a website, both are intrinsically linked, so it goes hand in hand.
 

Xyon

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Just a little reminder to say, this remains high on my priority list, but I am devoting my energies into resolving the remaining OHM issues before I tackle this. I haven't forgotten about it!
 

IronRain

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Hello all,

First of all, I hope you are all safe and well.

Over the past few months we've been working on a couple of things at once. The most notably so far being OHM. The current state of OHM might not be ideal, but it gets the job done for now. Rest assured this isn't the final updated OHM version, we're building her from the ground up.

But that's not what this thread is about! We've also been working on the XenForo migration, and that will be this communities next big step. As you may know, we did a test migration a couple of months back and identified issues/missing features that we want to have. I'm happy to say we've fixed these items and we're now at a point where we feel comfortable to set a target for the migration, which will be the end of June.

The migration takes quite some steps, and therefore we might need to prioritize some things. All user accounts and associated content will be migrated, but the blogs section might follow a bit later.

At some point during the migration, we need to take this board offline to copy the final stuff. When this will be and how long this will take will be communicated later as we plan to do a test migration in the next few weeks to get a better idea of the real migration.

Personally, I joined the community pretty close after the last migration from the M6 boards to the vBulletin system. I'm really excited to see what XenForo will bring us.

After the XenForo migration is complete (or maybe even in paralel, since it will be open-source) we will continue work on the new OHM again. That's also quite a big project, but it'll be worth it. For both the end-users and the developers.

That's all for now, stay safe!
 

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I'm looking forward to see what the new platform has to offer but I'll admit I'll kinda be nostalgic a bit about this layout and the "classic" forum look-and-feel. :)
 

dbeachy1

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I'm looking forward to see what the new platform has to offer but I'll admit I'll kinda be nostalgic a bit about this layout and the "classic" forum look-and-feel. :)

Couldn't resist. :lol:
 

IronRain

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As most of you might have noticed, we're still rolling with the old forum.
We are doing our best to push forward with both the migration to the new forum as the new OHM, however personal life got in the way unfortunately.

Of course we'd love to get both projects out as soon as possible, but personal life is everyones first priority. So as soon as Xyon is in smoother waters again, we'll get things rolling again :)

A huge thanks to everyone in this community. Some things are "working less than optimal" for some time now, and the patience you all have is very much appreciated. We're really looking forward to the new forum so as soon as we have new info, we'll update ya'll!
 

Xyon

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Hello Orbinauts!

I'm pleased to be able to announce that the migration of XenForo will take place next Thursday !

There will commence a period of outage where the vBulletin board will close to public to ensure the consistency of data transfer to the new forum technology. This window will last until we reopen the XenForo board - once we've completed all our various post migration duties and cleanup.

The downtime for this will begin on Thursday the 13th of August 2020 at 1100 UTC.

We expect the migration itself to take roughly four hours (this is based on our previous test migrations) and are adding some post import cleanup time, so the window will be six hours long, concluding at 1700 UTC.

We'll keep you updated as best we can on how things are going - a good place to be to be in the know would be the OF Discord server.
 

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Point 6 is not a reason to change the system if everything else works. By all means if the actual underlying structure needs changing do it but change for aesthetic purposes is in my experience a waste of everyones time.
 

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Exciting to see this moving forward.

A friendly reminder about point 6. Xyon didn't say it was the only reason, in fact it's the last one on the list. We--those of us who remember the beginnings of this forum and the one that came before it--have to remember that Orbiter-Forum is the face of the Orbiter community, and how we present ourselves to newcomers and visitors will determine whether or not the next 13 years of this forum are as wonderful as the first.

There's always this theme: https://www.orbiter-forum.com/printthread.php?t=41208 if anyone's feeling nostalgic for 1994. :cheers:
 

Xyon

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Haha, Outch! :lol:
At least the scourge of 90ies websites was avoided: Mismatching colors and blinking text! :thumbup:

Don't forget all the "Under Construction" road-works style imagery everywhere!


A prime motivator for doing this now is it unlocks our integration into OHM more readily, which will have a huge impact on how OHM authentication works - which is currently, I think, our biggest single issue with how OHM currently works.



Additionally, for your consideration, between when I first started testing XenForo migration and now there have been five patch releases to the software, a good demonstration of how actively the product is being developed. It's a stark contrast to how long we've been without applicable updates to vBulletin.
 

Linguofreak

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Exciting to see this moving forward.

A friendly reminder about point 6. Xyon didn't say it was the only reason, in fact it's the last one on the list. We--those of us who remember the beginnings of this forum and the one that came before it--have to remember that Orbiter-Forum is the face of the Orbiter community, and how we present ourselves to newcomers and visitors will determine whether or not the next 13 years of this forum are as wonderful as the first.

There's always this theme: https://www.orbiter-forum.com/printthread.php?t=41208 if anyone's feeling nostalgic for 1994. :cheers:
I don't really like that particular theme, but in general mid-90s interface styles rule. 99% of what's available today is crap.
 

Face

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Additionally, for your consideration, between when I first started testing XenForo migration and now there have been five patch releases to the software, a good demonstration of how actively the product is being developed. It's a stark contrast to how long we've been without applicable updates to vBulletin.
Hey, that could be read in a different way as well: that vBulletin is stable software with only the occasional patch here and there vs. XenForo being young and still suffering from childhood diseases, making fixes necessary more often. :lol:

Joking aside, we will see how it works out. As long as I can read and post text, I am already happy. Wouldn't mind the plain theme posted earlier, either.
 
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