NOTICE: Forums migration happening this weekend

This forum is for descriptions of new site features and information about the site in general. This is also the place to discuss new site ideas.
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Shurijo
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NOTICE: Forums migration happening this weekend

Post by Shurijo » Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:26 pm

Here's some advice on this weekend's migration.

Brennor will create a database dump later tonight and lock the forums, so no new posts after that point. Tomorrow, I'll start fixing, importing, and cleaning up the data to fit into the new database. Hopefully, there's no problems. Then I'll need to regenerate all of the BBcodes, which will take at least a day (longer than the actual data import). Hopefully, by late Saturday, I'll send an email to the admins to let them know the data has been imported - I'll also post updates to Facebook as I go. Then hopefully on Sunday, we'll just be waiting for the BBCode reparser script to finish activating the BBcodes to turn {b} into bold, etc. If that finishes on Sunday, then I'll take down the current login/credentials prompt, post to FB that we're live, and then you can login with your username/password or reset password to your associated email.

If you can't login
Passwords may be reset upon migration. If you can't log in, then you'll need to reset your password, so BE SURE YOUR EMAIL IS CORRECT. All password resets will be sent to the email associated with your user account.

If, for some reason, you are unable to login or reset your password, please contact an Admin. You can email one of us or post a message to the Facebook page. If you don't use Facebook, then be sure to contact one of your friendly neighborhood admins and get an email address, so you can contact somebody.

Things to do
Save your images, avatar, etc. You may need to reupload them to the new site. If the images/maps are hosted on a server other than Brennor's (like imgur, etc.) then don't worry, those will work fine on new forums.

Save any important PMs. If you have character or game info that's important, copy and save that text. PMs in your inbox and saved items will be copied over, but deleted items, sent, or outbox items will not be imported! Be careful about sending PMs today, if the user doesn't see it before we move, then they will have missed that PM.

New forums
There's a few things that will be different on the new forums than here. For starters, there's the "UCP" user control panel. It's just like the "My Account" where you can set your theme, change sig/avatars, etc. However, just get used to it being called "UCP" because that's what I'll be calling it and that's what the hyperlink is called.

Spam & New Users
Once we get the data migrated, the new forums gives us a lot more flexibility with security and spam related issues. For starters, all newly registered accounts will be placed into the "Newly Registered Users" group. This means all of the user's posts will require an admin or moderator to approve the post before the post appears in the forums. This means spammers can't create a new account and start posting spam, unless somebody approves their first post. This also means new users can't start posting to games until they make an initial post (probably to Intro, Welcome, Random Chatter forums). Once their first post is approved, they will be automatically promoted to "Registered User" group, which is like 99% of the other users here that gives them normal access to the forums.

Themes
For those who post at work, we have already created a "work friendly" them. Your initial theme will be the default one, so go to the UCP and pick the work friendly theme. It's less colorful and "gamey" and looks like any ordinary, boring forum. This does not change how your office web filter software works, it only changes the appearance of the forums.

Posting
Bren & Bitom did a great job with a lot of custom BBcodes. However, now in the new version of the forums, there's been a few changes to BBcode. Nothing major, but some BBcodes are different in the new forums as here. It's also much easier to make new BBcodes if needed. We've created a lot of BBcodes, including some new and very cool ones. Some of the old posts that use some BBcodes may break (not look right) after we move to the new forums. That will require admins/mods to edit the old posts to fix them. The vast majority of the BBcodes will work, but somethings like Bren\Bit's BBcode Table is one of the things that doesn't work the same way.

Custom Extensions & Master Game List
The new forums also allows us to more easily code modules for the forums. These are called "extensions." And allows us to code our own or download extensions from the phpBB Extensions Gallery. We've already installed a few, but this also means a few things (like ShoutBox) won't be on the new forums. We've tested a beta version of a new ShoutBox and it works really well, but there's some bugs the author is working to fix. Once that Shoutbox is officially released, we'll download & install & test it and then tweak it to look nice.

Our first (own) extension is our Master Game List. Rather than be included in a topic in the forums, we've coded a tool that allows Admins to add/remove/edit games in the database. This means we have a link called "Master Games List" in the header/toolbar that shows all of the open games and highlights which ones are open for new players to join. Eventually (after we migrate and things settle), we'll finish coding it so that GMs will be able to update their own game status on the page.

PMs
It's much easier to do multi-person PMs now. There's even a "reply to all" button.

Favorites
Favorites is now called "Bookmarks" and you bookmark a post rather than 'add to favorites.'

Watched Topics
Watched topics is now called "Subscriptions" and you can subscribe to a single post or an entire forum.

Drafts
You can also save 'draft' copies of posts. When you're ready to post the draft (or edit it), you click 'load draft', pick which draft post, and it will put that text back into your textbox so you can edit/complete it.

RSS\Web Feeds
Each forum will have RSS feeds.

Other cool stuff
We have installed an extension for mentions, so if I type @Vardaen, then Vardaen will see an alert saying someone mentioned him in a post. When he clicks on the alert/notification, it'll take him to that post.

We've also added a few new custom fields and a Captcha block for registration. I think the new captchat should block most bots and spammers from registration. I added a few questions like "what's the highest value you can roll from a 3d6?" which any new users and bots will need to answer before they can join the site. I think that's better than trying to read hard-to-read letters from an image (plus all of those have been beaten by bots/spammers already, so those just inconvenience real humans anyways).

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Shurijo
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Re: NOTICE: Forums migration happening this weekend

Post by Shurijo » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:29 pm

Oh, and by the way, I think I forgot but the new URL will be

dicefellowship.org

It's currently locked\password, so that nobody (or Google bots) doesn't go there before we're ready. Hopefully, by Sunday evening or Monday morning, that'll be our new home and everything will have been migrated successfully.

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Vardaen
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Re: NOTICE: Forums migration happening this weekend

Post by Vardaen » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:30 pm

It has been a pleasure all to RP with everyone here! A big thanks to Brennor for turning his 'Rl game blog' site into this PbP Site after a little prodding a decade ago.

This may very will be my last post on this incarnation of the site as I head out for the day. See everyone on the flip side come Monday!

Thanks again to everyone from over the years, to Brennor for hosting, and to Shurijo for making the move forward possible.

May all your D20's roll critical hits!
"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Brennor
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Re: NOTICE: Forums migration happening this weekend

Post by Brennor » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:56 pm

FYI - I'll be putting the site into maintenance around midnight eastern time. At that point I'll be taking DB dumps and prepping them for Shurijo to grab to continue the process.
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Hayabusa
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Re: NOTICE: Forums migration happening this weekend

Post by Hayabusa » Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:55 am

I too am very grateful for Brennor's bringing me into contact with all of the folks I meet, back in '09 and every subsequent year. I do hope to visit you guys next year if I can make it. And thank you for the ton of work that has been put into the site over the years!
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