ADMIN FAQs ON THE NEW SOFTWARE

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
I’m going to post what I know regarding how the new software works and how things are going to go. I will no longer answer questions on these topics. Read the FAQs here. I’ll add more content as people ask new questions. This will be the definitive place to go for questions.


The URL for the new software is: http://xf.timebomb2000.com/xf (THIS MAY OR MAY NOT CHANGE AT GO-LIVE)


1. This site is database-driven. This version of the site software that we’ve been using for nearly 20 years is data-driven. That is, there are no “static, pre-defined pages” of data. Everything you write goes into a data table, and everything you read comes from a data table. Think of a data table as a file folder. Think of what you write as a page that you type on a typewriter. That page goes from the typewriter into the file folder, into a drawer in a file cabinet. Other people can open the drawer, pull the file, and read all the pages.

2. The new software uses a different file cabinet. There is “translation software” that reads all the pages from our current file cabinet, and copies them into the new file cabinet.

3. The layout of the folders in the new file cabinet is different than the layout of the files in our current file cabinet. That’s why software is needed to copy the old file cabinet’s information into a layout that the new software can understand.

4. The test version of the new software is using a “snapshot” of our current file cabinet from around October 15th or so. Since the file cabinets are separate, nothing you do in the current file cabinet is placed into the new file cabinet until we take the next snapshot. At that point, all changes to this file cabinet will be copied into the new file cabinet. That includes: posts, threads, password changes, and email address changes.

5. The new software currently has a different look in terms of color scheme. That’s because it’s using the “default” colors. This current version that we’re using also began life with a blue color scheme. I set the colors we have here now. I will set colors of the new software as well, when we go live, to match these colors as closely as possible. THE CURRENT COLORS OF THE NEW SOFTWARE WILL BE CHANGED TO THESE COLORS. I just haven’t done that for testing purposes.

6. All of the current forum rooms are present in the new software. (Forum rooms are some of the file folders I talked about above.) The reason you can’t see them is that A) they weren’t needed for our test run, and B) I have to go through every usergroup to give permission, which is a giant hassle for testing purposes.

7. All of us are assigned to “usergroups”. These usergroups are how general permissions are assigned. There are multiple usergroups, e.g. “Registered”, “Administrators”, “Moderators”, “No Bomb Shelter Access”, etc. Again, these usergroups are how room permissions are assigned and maintained.

8. The settings of the new software are quite different from our settings, both at the user level and at the Administrator level. I am not an expert on these settings at this time. I may not be able to help you or answer your questions. There is a user guide available for the new software. I suggest everyone read it, at least in terms of the user interface and settings. That user guide is available here: https://xenforo.com/xf2-docs/manual/ and here: https://xenforo-tutorials.blogspot.com/2012/02/xenatendo-user-guide-faq.html

9. The new software cannot be made to have an identical look and feel to this (much older) software. There will be an adjustment period. Most INTJ personality types hate change. I’m one of them. I’ll just have to deal with it. So will you. Get over it. I’ll have to do the same.

10. The new software is far more “dynamic” in how it deals with pasting of content. In most cases, it automatically expands the content from a wide range of providers, including youtube, youtu.be, Twitter, faceborg, etc. you will find that inserting that material is much less a hassle than using the current software. Note the the expansion of content DOES NOT HAPPEN UNTIL YOU SUBMIT THE POST. Thus, you will not see the content in your post as you’re writing it.

11. The new software has a “save draft” capability. This is new to us. It will allow you to autosave as you’re writing a long post. No, I don’t know how it works yet.

12. The new software has “natural language search”, which is also new to us. In the current software, you have to use keywords only. In the new software, you’ll be able to type in a string of text to search for, i.e. “the fuzzy little dog”. No, I don’t know if it will be activated at launch, and I don’t yet know how to turn it on or use it. But I bought it for us (it was an option.)

13. The new software is optimized for use on handheld devices. That is new to us.

14. You get to your user options by clicking on your board name in the upper right corner and then clicking “Preferences.” There are a butt-load ton of them. Have fun.

15. Why didn’t I make the other rooms visible in the new software, or change the colors in the new software? Because, as I stated above, the new software is data-driven, from a snapshot of this current database. Before we go live, the new database will be “wiped clean” and reloaded from a current snapshot from here. Some of you may jump on the fact that the colors & other stuff didn’t import in the first snapshot, and you’re right. But the key words here are “will be wiped clean before the next import.” I’m not going to set things over and over again. Once is more than enough hassle.

16. The conversion is a PROCESS, not a light switch. It’s going to take days, weeks, and months to get everything sorted out. I have over 10,000 hours invested in our current software, learning, customizing and setting things up. The same process will need to be repeated FROM SCRATCH on the new software. Do not expect it to be a seamless or entirely smooth transition. That’s why I waited so long to upgrade. It’s a huge hassle and takes hundreds of man-hours to complete.

17. When we change over, the old software will still be alive. The old database will still be active. However, you won’t be able to post. You WILL be able to PM the staff using the old software. We should be able to assist you in getting over to the new board. However, we won’t be able to deal with the inevitable 200-300 of you old farts who’ve vaporlocked during your attempt :p. So bear with us as we assist you as best we can.

18. PM the other staff too, not just me. I can’t help you during the day as my time is quite limited right now.

19. The avatars are round over there. I have no idea why, or if they can be made square. I’ll look into that at a MUCH later time.

20. DELETED. See #28

21. Quotes in replies: if you click the REPLY button for a specific post, a quote of that post’s text will be included. Multi-quote is now the “+Quote” text-link. If you don’t want quoted text, you can clear it manually or just type your reply directly in the Reply text box at the end of the thread.

22. Quoted text is now “abbreviated” for long quotes, so you don’t have to scroll through some enormous length of quoted text. If you want to see it again (though why is a mystery to me), you click the “Expand” under the quoted text.

23. CHANGEOVER DOWNTIME: It should take about an hour (ish) to copy the data over, but I have to go in after and set permissions manually, which will take some time. How long is anyone’s guess. I’m thinking another hour or two.

24. ALL YOUR DATA WILL COME OVER TO THE NEW SOFTWARE. That includes your board name, password, email address, posts, threads, PMs and the like. I cannot answer about personal blog posts. I just don’t know.

25. If you have software installed that doesn’t allow JavaScript to run, you’ll need to whitelist the new URL to allow it. If you don’t, you won’t be able to do anything, or even login.

26. The “number of posts per page” is both a user and global setting. I have this software set to 40, but haven’t touched it on the new software. It wasn’t necessary for the test. I’ll set it when we go live, or you can set it over there now if you like. (Remember that any setting changes you make to your personal profile over on the new side WILL BE LOST on the next import.)

27. There should be no need to post a direct link to a video on the new software. The embed methodology should be picked up by all handheld devices.

28. Getting to first unread post or last post in the thread: clicking the thread title will take you to the last post in the thread that you’ve read. If you haven’t read it yet, that will be the OP. Clicking the “last post time” to the far right of the thread title will take you to the last post on the thread.

29. Post counts and rank images (bombs or rad symbols): Post counts, along with other stats, can only be seen if you click on the user’s avatar. A little info box will open. Our rank images (the bombs and rad symbols) will ultimately be available and are in fact displayable. However, getting them imported over and “findable” by the new software will be a strictly manual process. I need to know where to put the images, then how to tell the software where to find them. Once that’s done, they’ll magically appear for us all. But don’t expect that on Day One. At all.

Show some patience in all this. Don’t be demanding. We’re all in this together. I don’t know any more than you do, so I have to learn it before I can assist you.

Thanks


PS: The new software is called xenForo. We’ll be on “version 2”. Our current software is vBulletin version 4.

PPS: THE CHANGEOVER SHOULD HAPPEN WITHIN A WEEK. If the contract guy doing it (he’s in England) gets back to me soon enough, it could happen this week, though that’s looking less likely with each passing minute.

PPPS: It is inevitable that some of you just won’t understand any of this. After we change over, you can email Deena at: registrar@timebomb2000.com for assistance.


NOTE: Everyone should make sure the email address in their master record is current and spelled correctly. Change it if necessary.

WARNING: Changing your email address inactivates your account and sends a confirmation email to your new account. There is a reactivation link in that email that you have to click. If you don’t, your account stays inactive until manually fixed by a staff member. IF YOU DON’T GET AN EMAIL, CHECK YOUR SPAM/JUNK FOLDER.

Staff will manually reactivate all inactive accounts prior to the final snapshot.



ADDENDUM:

Things to try if you can’t logon:

Bear in mind that this is a DIFFERENT URL than we’ve been using. With that in mind...

- If you have JavaScript blocked for sites that you don’t trust, you’ll need to add the new URL to your whitelist

- If you have anti-malware software installed that blocks/disabled by URL, you’ll need to add the new URL to your whitelist

- Clear your forms cache and cookies, and close and reopen your browser

- Try a different browser

- Have the new software send you a replacement password (there’s got to be a link to do that somewhere on the “bad password” screen). It won’t affect anything on the current software since the databases are separate.

- If using a proxy, turn it off and try coming in without it. Remember, the object here is troubleshooting.

- Do you really know your password? Try logging off our current software, then log back in using the password you THINK is correct. Don’t use autofill to fill it in. If this software gives you an error, you’ll need to either create a new password here or find where you wrote it down. (If you end up unable to get back in, email Deena at registrar@timebomb2000.com)


If all that fails, PM me and I’ll discuss options with you. Note that this is pretty much guaranteed to be on your side, since the redirect problems have been resolved.
 

et2

Veteran Member
Many of us are being locked out after failed logon attempts and can't get to the new site. Tried last night and this morning. Still locked out.
 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
I’ll have to find the setting for lockout-duration and number-of-tries. There are about 500 settings in the admin area, if not more.
 

Seeker22

Veteran Member
One of your Gifts from me this year is a HUGE Thank You. Dennis, you have gone above and beyond on this and I am well aware of the learning curve involved and all the hard work invested. Don't ever think I don't appreciate it. TB is my Family.
 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
Number of tries is fixed at 5. I can’t change it. The lockout clears after 15 minutes. I can’t change that either. I turned on Captcha just now to try and get around a lockout. See if you can get a login screen.

ETA: If you’re using a proxy, that can confuse the system under some conditions. Also, try a different browser.
 

Publius

TB Fanatic
Thanks for the info and heads up on all of this and I will try to stay out of the way and see how this all works out.
 

moldy

Veteran Member
Dennis -
Thank you for the file drawer/cabinet analogy. Helped this 'moldy' old geezer to understand it better. Thank you for all the work you're doing - we greatly appreciate it.
 

mawmaw

Veteran Member
Dennis.
I can;t get thru, I get a "error timed out" page when ever I try. What can I do to fix it? using Chrome, the page I get sends me back here ?
 

h_oder

Veteran Member
I had that happen yesterday (locked out for too many login attempts). I hit "forgot my password" on the new site. Got an email and was able to change my password (to the current one -which is one of those easy to remember ones for me)
 

BornFree

Came This Far
One gets a warning when attempting to log in. The warning is that the data is not secure, and could be viewed by others. I suppose that is because the page is not HTTPS.
 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
Sure. Host them on a server. That’s your other choice. What methodology would you assume to use? A direct link to your PC?
 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
Well, think about it logically. What’s the objective? To allow a remote webserver (TB) access to images. Cool. Now, how might one do that?

Host the images on the remote server itself (the attachment process), or place the images someplace public where the server can get to them via a link (image hosting). Theoretically you could do it from your local PC if:

- You install webserver software on it such as IIS (Windows) or Apache (Linux)

- Set up a “webroot” directory and place your images into it

- Your ISP gives you a static IP address

- You provide the URL to the images in your post

Actually (this is kind-of a fun mental exercise for me), your URL would be:

Http://MyIPAddress/MyWebrootDirectory/MyFileName

A practical example might look like:

http://215.135.80.110/picsroot/my69grantorino.jpg

(I made up the IP addy out of thin air so my apologies for any address faux pas)

Thus, you could enclose that URL in IMG tags and host directly from your home PC. But, if you have a dynamic IP like most of us do, the assigned number will change if you shut down your router or have a power failure. Once the IP changed, the link is broken. That’s why you need a static IP.
 

cliff dweller

Contributing Member
Thanks

Thank you Dennis for all the work you put in. You are the most thorough manager, of all the different forums I am on, by far!
 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
It’s actually not complicated at all. But to set up a webserver is a non-trivial exercise. Once the server’s up, then it’s just a matter of dropping pics into a folder.
 

mistaken1

Veteran Member
I am going to look, I hope the new software blocks not only posts from blocked users but thread titles as well. I am tired of main being cluttered with meaningless-to-me brutal crime threads pushing content that will affect me off the page.

Maybe we can create a new brutal crimes room for those so inclined.
 

Snyper

Veteran Member
I am going to look, I hope the new software blocks not only posts from blocked users but thread titles as well. I am tired of main being cluttered with meaningless-to-me brutal crime threads pushing content that will affect me off the page.

Maybe we can create a new brutal crimes room for those so inclined.
It works that way on another Xenforo site I use.
If someone else posts it will show up in the list of new or recent posts, but you don't see the threads otherwise.

I agree with what you're saying about those threads.
They seem pointless.
 

Snyper

Veteran Member
I like that I can finally posts photos from my phone. Is there a better way so they come up not as attachments, but “normal?
On a PC there's an option at the bottom of the reply box to insert them either as thumbnails or full size.

I can "drag and drop" files from my computer into the reply box and it embeds them automatically.
 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
I’m pretty confident that once we all get over our “migration angst”, we’re not only going to love the new software, but collectively wonder why we waited so long to migrate.
 
On a PC there's an option at the bottom of the reply box to insert them either as thumbnails or full size.

I can "drag and drop" files from my computer into the reply box and it embeds them automatically.
I use my phone, should be able to figger out something.
 

momma_soapmaker

Girls With Guns Member #SaveTheLikeButton
It's working GREAT for me! I also updated my email address (thanks for the reminder).

Who is over EAS now? I need to update my email with them for any future EAS messages.
 

Guns-N-Moses

Senior Member
Hi Dennis,

I reset my password and was able to log in on this (http://www.timebomb2000.com/) site, however when I try to login to the new site (using the same credentials, I receive the error "incorrect password. Please try again".

I then successfully changed my password (on this site) in one browser and tried logging in again on the new site in a new tab to no avail.

I also tried two other browsers. Any suggestions?
 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
THE DATABASES ARE SEPARATE. Read my OP completely, slowly. It explains everything you need to know.
 
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