Register here

Poll

Merge together Early Aircraft Projects and Postwar Aircraft Projects?

No! Keep them separate!
3 (33.3%)
Not bothered either way
2 (22.2%)
Yes! Its a good idea!
4 (44.4%)

Total Members Voted: 9

Voting closed: February 16, 2019, 11:57:00 am

Author Topic: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum 2nd March....  (Read 8936 times)

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

  • Secret Projects Forum Founder
  • Administrator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • *****
  • Posts: 10959
  • Paul Martell-Mead
    • Secret Projects
Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #45 on: December 21, 2017, 02:36:37 am »
Couple more thoughts occurred to me overnight about Xenforo.

Privacy: Commercial software companies can gain an additional revenue stream if they embed data harvesting into their product and sell the data on to the Big Data companies (who provide the harvesting code). Many commercial web service products now do this. Can we be sure that Xenforo does not?


Yes. Source code is PHP, you can read it yourself, just like SMF or PHPBB. Its '"open source'' in that sense, just not freely distributable. There's no nefarious code in there.

Proprietary lock-in and end-of-life: One day you will want to migrate from Xenforo to something else.  It is common enough for commercial software to use a proprietary data format. It then tries to attract and keep its user base by enabling import from a competitor product but to forbid export. Does Xenforo offer full data export, against that day?

Open Source products such as Simple Machines and phpBB are pretty user-friendly in these respects.

Like phpBB and SMF, Xenforo is just text data in a MySQL database with a PHP web app. Migration of any similar forum to a new format depends on availability of a converter in the new product, which is to a large extent determined by user base size of the forum software. Xenforo is a pretty popular forum, so there is for example a PHPBB converter available should you want to go that way, as well as converters to other commercial forum products. Converters are the responsibility of the new forum, not the old.

SMF is effectively a dead project. 2.1 is still miles from release, and hardly any improvement on 2.0, which was hardly any improvement on 1.1 from 2006. I've given up waiting for it.

I've tried NodeBB, Vanilla, Discourse, PHPBB, MyBB, and Elkarte, which is a fork of SMF. Elkarte came close to perfect, as a easy modern upgrade to SMF, similar but with lots of things improved, but is not too popular yet, which means you could end up in the position you imagined for Xenforo, without an easy means of data conversion out if the project dies. Given its basically just 2 developers working in their spare time, this seems too risky. Xenforo is a safer bet - there are converters already out for most alternative forums.

I'm all for open source software in general but in this instance, I feel its worth paying a smallish fee.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 02:44:06 am by PaulMM (Overscan) »
"They can't see our arses for dust."
 
- Sir Sydney Camm

Offline MihoshiK

  • CLEARANCE: Confidential
  • *
  • Posts: 96
Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #46 on: December 30, 2017, 05:33:00 pm »
My main haunt on the web is Spacebattles.com, which moved to Xenforo a few years ago. It's a remarkably stable bit of kit, and it's main developer used to work for vBulletin, to which it is markedly superior.
 
The tag function is extremely useful.

Thread length is somewhat limited due to forum software and database limits. That is to say, for a forum like spacebattles, which has almost 70,000 users and a database of more than 29 million posts. I imagine that a thread length of 1500 pages with each page 25 posts long is more than sufficient for Secret Projects :D

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

  • Secret Projects Forum Founder
  • Administrator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • *****
  • Posts: 10959
  • Paul Martell-Mead
    • Secret Projects
Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #47 on: February 10, 2019, 06:25:25 pm »
Well. more than a year has passed since I abandoned the migration to Xenforo, and I am trying again.

I've got to a point I'm very happy with the data migration - all posts, personal messages and attachments have been converted, permissions fixed, I have a solution to preserving old links, and I'm working on customising the site look and feel. I'm having some challenges with the search system differences from SMF which I am trying to resolve - its not quite as good at finding content yet.

Once I've got what I think is a stable, workable system (hopefully within a week or two) I will invite some users to give it a try.

Once it's tweaked after feedback,  I'll have to schedule a weekend to take the forum down for a final backup and migration, probably the site will be down for 1 or 2 days while I redo the entire process of migrating to Xenforo.

Hopefully this will be a positive change overall. SMF was the best forum software in 2005, but it's pretty dated now.
"They can't see our arses for dust."
 
- Sir Sydney Camm

Offline TomS

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2935
Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #48 on: February 10, 2019, 06:44:00 pm »
Looking forward to a new forum software.  Zenforo is quite powerful and flexible.

Word of warning though. Another forum I frequent converted to Zenforo a few months ago.  It took much longer than expected to do the actual conversion, by several days in fact.

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

  • Secret Projects Forum Founder
  • Administrator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • *****
  • Posts: 10959
  • Paul Martell-Mead
    • Secret Projects
Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #49 on: February 10, 2019, 07:10:54 pm »
Well, I've already done it once as a test. The actual conversion part was fairly speedy (a few hours) thanks to the speedy DigitalOcean servers, but there's lots of post migration steps to complete. I need to remove permissions from all boards and recreate them, change style, and alter any options that differ from the defaults. I think two evenings is about right overall. I could get it online in one evening's work, and carry on tweaking while its running, but I'd rather get it all looking right before reopening the doors. Just my control freakery at work perhaps :)
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 07:12:35 pm by PaulMM (Overscan) »
"They can't see our arses for dust."
 
- Sir Sydney Camm

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

  • Secret Projects Forum Founder
  • Administrator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • *****
  • Posts: 10959
  • Paul Martell-Mead
    • Secret Projects
Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #50 on: February 10, 2019, 07:13:42 pm »
Now the important thing - keep the McDonnell-Douglas 265 or ditch it for a new mascot?
"They can't see our arses for dust."
 
- Sir Sydney Camm

Offline Michel Van

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 4109
Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #51 on: February 10, 2019, 08:19:23 pm »
Now the important thing - keep the McDonnell-Douglas 265 or ditch it for a new mascot?

to be honest, i don't know

Is there another iconic unbuild aircraft that could replace the  McDonnell-Douglas 265 ?
I love Strange Technology

Online sferrin

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 11257
Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #52 on: February 10, 2019, 08:41:37 pm »
Now the important thing - keep the McDonnell-Douglas 265 or ditch it for a new mascot?

I vote for new.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

  • Secret Projects Forum Founder
  • Administrator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • *****
  • Posts: 10959
  • Paul Martell-Mead
    • Secret Projects
Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #53 on: February 10, 2019, 10:08:12 pm »
I'll try and create a few options in Photoshop. Logo shape favours long and thin - TSR2???
 ;D
"They can't see our arses for dust."
 
- Sir Sydney Camm

Offline steelpillow

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 442
  • So many projects, so little time...
Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #54 on: February 11, 2019, 12:02:06 am »
TSR2 good and iconic. Or, how about the BAe Kingston (Hawker) P.1216 supersonic Harrier replacement, if you can find a free graphic?
Cheers.

Offline Silencer1

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 486
  • That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!
Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #55 on: February 11, 2019, 12:39:41 am »
I'll try and create a few options in Photoshop. Logo shape favours long and thin - TSR2???
 ;D

The idea of changing forum's header is good. Also, TSR-2, in my huble opinion, didn't match the idea, important to me - to demonstrate the unbuilt proects. I like TSR-2, but it has been built and tested.
So, I'm looking for someting elegant, but did' leaving the drawing board!

Good luck with software replacement!

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

  • Secret Projects Forum Founder
  • Administrator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • *****
  • Posts: 10959
  • Paul Martell-Mead
    • Secret Projects
Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #56 on: February 11, 2019, 12:57:13 am »
Some screenshots of me playing around with colours, fonts etc. Not in any way representative of the final design! TSR2 was a joke BTW. I have a super high res screen so these are pretty giant.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 01:06:39 am by PaulMM (Overscan) »
"They can't see our arses for dust."
 
- Sir Sydney Camm

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

  • Secret Projects Forum Founder
  • Administrator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • *****
  • Posts: 10959
  • Paul Martell-Mead
    • Secret Projects
Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #57 on: February 11, 2019, 01:22:35 am »
This is showing thread prefixes - I could merge the Early and Postwar Aircraft Projects to just "Aircraft Projects" and then each thread can be tagged with an era. You can then select that prefix in the filter to see only projects from WW2, for example.

You could even combine missile, aircraft, army, navy, space projects into just one giant  "Projects" section and then have prefixes of "Missile", "Aircraft", "Naval", etc.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 01:24:35 am by PaulMM (Overscan) »
"They can't see our arses for dust."
 
- Sir Sydney Camm

Offline kitnut617

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 202
Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #58 on: February 11, 2019, 04:02:51 am »
Just as long it doesn't have any of that 'tapatalk' crap Paul
If I'm not building models, I'm riding my dirtbike

Online hesham

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 22826
Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #59 on: February 11, 2019, 04:07:21 am »
My dear Paul,

I agree about most of those improvements,but please don't change the title or the name of
forum,its a trade mark,continues for ever.