Forum Software - Again

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Forum Software - Again

Michael Dorosh
Michael Dorosh

January 19th, 2009, 7:19 pm #1

http://www.network54.com/Forum/28173/me ... mous+posts

As discussed at the link above, there have been ongoing issues with the antique layout of the forum software. Most of you are familiar with vBulletin forum software and probably post at other messageboards powered by this powerful new software.

My website server has offered to get me up an running on vBulletin if I wish, but the snag may well be that the messages here - 10 years worth - would either be lost permanently, or at least relegated to a non-interactive archive. I would be reluctant to make a move in the former case, a little less in the latter case.

But then, it occurs to me I would not be the only one impacted by a move, so I'm asking for opinions - how badly out of date is the forum format to you, and how much does it matter?

Network54 has been promising a Version 3 for literally years now but has stopped responding to commentary on their support forum. They don't even respond to requests for simple fixes, like the blanking of name fields when we go to edit our own posts and lose all the data and end up posting "anonymously." They show no ability to change even the simple stuff.

On the other side of the coin, in addition to having 10 years of information stored here, there are some appeals to the current format - it's a low traffic forum and easy to see ALL the messages for the last month or so at a glance, not just the initial posts in each thread.

Some of the vBulletin stuff leaves me cold; idiotic "avatars" do nothing for me and strike me as a waste of bandwidth - I don't think a picture of Mickey Mouse shooting a machine gun beside your name enhances your credibility as a subject matter expert necessarily. Though I do like the notion of being able to track the number of posts and visitors.

So, what is your opinion? Is a move worthwhile?
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Joined: June 10th, 2004, 11:45 pm

January 19th, 2009, 8:06 pm #2

Unless the new software has some huge benefits, I'd say stick with the current format. I'm on no other forum that has any functionality advantage over this so I don't feel like I'm losing out.

Until there is a sudden leap forward (cassette to CD in comparison) why not just leave it alone?

Cheers,

Bob
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Doug Townend
Doug Townend

January 19th, 2009, 8:21 pm #3

http://www.network54.com/Forum/28173/me ... mous+posts

As discussed at the link above, there have been ongoing issues with the antique layout of the forum software. Most of you are familiar with vBulletin forum software and probably post at other messageboards powered by this powerful new software.

My website server has offered to get me up an running on vBulletin if I wish, but the snag may well be that the messages here - 10 years worth - would either be lost permanently, or at least relegated to a non-interactive archive. I would be reluctant to make a move in the former case, a little less in the latter case.

But then, it occurs to me I would not be the only one impacted by a move, so I'm asking for opinions - how badly out of date is the forum format to you, and how much does it matter?

Network54 has been promising a Version 3 for literally years now but has stopped responding to commentary on their support forum. They don't even respond to requests for simple fixes, like the blanking of name fields when we go to edit our own posts and lose all the data and end up posting "anonymously." They show no ability to change even the simple stuff.

On the other side of the coin, in addition to having 10 years of information stored here, there are some appeals to the current format - it's a low traffic forum and easy to see ALL the messages for the last month or so at a glance, not just the initial posts in each thread.

Some of the vBulletin stuff leaves me cold; idiotic "avatars" do nothing for me and strike me as a waste of bandwidth - I don't think a picture of Mickey Mouse shooting a machine gun beside your name enhances your credibility as a subject matter expert necessarily. Though I do like the notion of being able to track the number of posts and visitors.

So, what is your opinion? Is a move worthwhile?
I'm quite satisifed with the current format. I just wish I knew how to access all the good stuff you had previously, eg: pages of photos on topics.

DT.
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Christopher Ono
Christopher Ono

January 19th, 2009, 10:51 pm #4

I prefer the vBulletin style, but I'm an infequent user and reader.

If you are going to do the changeover, can you give us a few days warning? I'd like to cut and paste some of the old posts that are of interest to me in the event they might be lost.
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Joined: March 26th, 2007, 3:59 am

January 20th, 2009, 12:08 am #5

http://www.network54.com/Forum/28173/me ... mous+posts

As discussed at the link above, there have been ongoing issues with the antique layout of the forum software. Most of you are familiar with vBulletin forum software and probably post at other messageboards powered by this powerful new software.

My website server has offered to get me up an running on vBulletin if I wish, but the snag may well be that the messages here - 10 years worth - would either be lost permanently, or at least relegated to a non-interactive archive. I would be reluctant to make a move in the former case, a little less in the latter case.

But then, it occurs to me I would not be the only one impacted by a move, so I'm asking for opinions - how badly out of date is the forum format to you, and how much does it matter?

Network54 has been promising a Version 3 for literally years now but has stopped responding to commentary on their support forum. They don't even respond to requests for simple fixes, like the blanking of name fields when we go to edit our own posts and lose all the data and end up posting "anonymously." They show no ability to change even the simple stuff.

On the other side of the coin, in addition to having 10 years of information stored here, there are some appeals to the current format - it's a low traffic forum and easy to see ALL the messages for the last month or so at a glance, not just the initial posts in each thread.

Some of the vBulletin stuff leaves me cold; idiotic "avatars" do nothing for me and strike me as a waste of bandwidth - I don't think a picture of Mickey Mouse shooting a machine gun beside your name enhances your credibility as a subject matter expert necessarily. Though I do like the notion of being able to track the number of posts and visitors.

So, what is your opinion? Is a move worthwhile?
My feeling is that the current software fits the needs of this forum very well. A forum on an unrelated topic that I frequented for many years recently made a switch from a format similar to this over to something much like vBulletin. I actually found it less user friendly than its previous version, and usage has dramatically dropped off.

I think the strengths of the current forum are as you describe, Michael:
-No unnecessary bells and whistles (ie. avatars, animated GIFs, etc)
-Easy to view all posts from the previous month or more.
-Easy to view the complete tree structure of all posts. This is a big one for me. Take, for example, the large US Militaria Forums at Link. As far as I'm aware there is no way to view an entire post structure, and you are forced to scroll through the complete text of all posts, making it very hard to get to the information you want quickly. I think the expanded tree structure of the CSC forum is one of its greatest strengths.

I guess my argument can be summed up by the following: Any potential gain from switching to the vBulletin is far outweighed the loss of years of posts, and a simple to use, easy to follow format. Just my 2 cents.


Cheers,
Fletcher Johnston
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Geoff Middleton
Geoff Middleton

January 20th, 2009, 3:26 am #6

http://www.network54.com/Forum/28173/me ... mous+posts

As discussed at the link above, there have been ongoing issues with the antique layout of the forum software. Most of you are familiar with vBulletin forum software and probably post at other messageboards powered by this powerful new software.

My website server has offered to get me up an running on vBulletin if I wish, but the snag may well be that the messages here - 10 years worth - would either be lost permanently, or at least relegated to a non-interactive archive. I would be reluctant to make a move in the former case, a little less in the latter case.

But then, it occurs to me I would not be the only one impacted by a move, so I'm asking for opinions - how badly out of date is the forum format to you, and how much does it matter?

Network54 has been promising a Version 3 for literally years now but has stopped responding to commentary on their support forum. They don't even respond to requests for simple fixes, like the blanking of name fields when we go to edit our own posts and lose all the data and end up posting "anonymously." They show no ability to change even the simple stuff.

On the other side of the coin, in addition to having 10 years of information stored here, there are some appeals to the current format - it's a low traffic forum and easy to see ALL the messages for the last month or so at a glance, not just the initial posts in each thread.

Some of the vBulletin stuff leaves me cold; idiotic "avatars" do nothing for me and strike me as a waste of bandwidth - I don't think a picture of Mickey Mouse shooting a machine gun beside your name enhances your credibility as a subject matter expert necessarily. Though I do like the notion of being able to track the number of posts and visitors.

So, what is your opinion? Is a move worthwhile?
I prefer this version, mainly because I like to use the search to pull up things I remember(OK, vaguely mostly) but want to see to confirm something already in my collection or that I would like to add. So unless we want to go through all the questions and answer them all over again as people find the forum, I'd like to stick with Network54 for now.

Thanks for the chance to input Mike.

Geoff
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Craig B
Craig B

January 20th, 2009, 9:43 pm #7

http://www.network54.com/Forum/28173/me ... mous+posts

As discussed at the link above, there have been ongoing issues with the antique layout of the forum software. Most of you are familiar with vBulletin forum software and probably post at other messageboards powered by this powerful new software.

My website server has offered to get me up an running on vBulletin if I wish, but the snag may well be that the messages here - 10 years worth - would either be lost permanently, or at least relegated to a non-interactive archive. I would be reluctant to make a move in the former case, a little less in the latter case.

But then, it occurs to me I would not be the only one impacted by a move, so I'm asking for opinions - how badly out of date is the forum format to you, and how much does it matter?

Network54 has been promising a Version 3 for literally years now but has stopped responding to commentary on their support forum. They don't even respond to requests for simple fixes, like the blanking of name fields when we go to edit our own posts and lose all the data and end up posting "anonymously." They show no ability to change even the simple stuff.

On the other side of the coin, in addition to having 10 years of information stored here, there are some appeals to the current format - it's a low traffic forum and easy to see ALL the messages for the last month or so at a glance, not just the initial posts in each thread.

Some of the vBulletin stuff leaves me cold; idiotic "avatars" do nothing for me and strike me as a waste of bandwidth - I don't think a picture of Mickey Mouse shooting a machine gun beside your name enhances your credibility as a subject matter expert necessarily. Though I do like the notion of being able to track the number of posts and visitors.

So, what is your opinion? Is a move worthwhile?
I would look into the new software if I were you.... The problem with this old software (even though everyone is familiar with it and like the format) is that it is not supported anymore. If it goes down you run the chance of loosing everything anyway. I would research if the information can be "backed-up" and maybe transferred to a new format before the inevitable.

The problem with software is that it outdates very quickly. The new forum formats are easy to use and you can also search for new posts and old ones as well, very easily.

just my 2 cents.
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Joined: February 1st, 2006, 6:13 pm

January 20th, 2009, 11:01 pm #8

http://www.network54.com/Forum/28173/me ... mous+posts

As discussed at the link above, there have been ongoing issues with the antique layout of the forum software. Most of you are familiar with vBulletin forum software and probably post at other messageboards powered by this powerful new software.

My website server has offered to get me up an running on vBulletin if I wish, but the snag may well be that the messages here - 10 years worth - would either be lost permanently, or at least relegated to a non-interactive archive. I would be reluctant to make a move in the former case, a little less in the latter case.

But then, it occurs to me I would not be the only one impacted by a move, so I'm asking for opinions - how badly out of date is the forum format to you, and how much does it matter?

Network54 has been promising a Version 3 for literally years now but has stopped responding to commentary on their support forum. They don't even respond to requests for simple fixes, like the blanking of name fields when we go to edit our own posts and lose all the data and end up posting "anonymously." They show no ability to change even the simple stuff.

On the other side of the coin, in addition to having 10 years of information stored here, there are some appeals to the current format - it's a low traffic forum and easy to see ALL the messages for the last month or so at a glance, not just the initial posts in each thread.

Some of the vBulletin stuff leaves me cold; idiotic "avatars" do nothing for me and strike me as a waste of bandwidth - I don't think a picture of Mickey Mouse shooting a machine gun beside your name enhances your credibility as a subject matter expert necessarily. Though I do like the notion of being able to track the number of posts and visitors.

So, what is your opinion? Is a move worthwhile?
Hi Michael;

I myself prefer the forum the way it is set up now. I find it easy to use and as you say, it has "the messages for the last month or so at a glance, not just the initial posts in each thread," which I myself find really useful when coming onto the forum. But things change and if you must, you must ...Cheers

Mark
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

December 12th, 2009, 3:58 pm #9

http://www.network54.com/Forum/28173/me ... mous+posts

As discussed at the link above, there have been ongoing issues with the antique layout of the forum software. Most of you are familiar with vBulletin forum software and probably post at other messageboards powered by this powerful new software.

My website server has offered to get me up an running on vBulletin if I wish, but the snag may well be that the messages here - 10 years worth - would either be lost permanently, or at least relegated to a non-interactive archive. I would be reluctant to make a move in the former case, a little less in the latter case.

But then, it occurs to me I would not be the only one impacted by a move, so I'm asking for opinions - how badly out of date is the forum format to you, and how much does it matter?

Network54 has been promising a Version 3 for literally years now but has stopped responding to commentary on their support forum. They don't even respond to requests for simple fixes, like the blanking of name fields when we go to edit our own posts and lose all the data and end up posting "anonymously." They show no ability to change even the simple stuff.

On the other side of the coin, in addition to having 10 years of information stored here, there are some appeals to the current format - it's a low traffic forum and easy to see ALL the messages for the last month or so at a glance, not just the initial posts in each thread.

Some of the vBulletin stuff leaves me cold; idiotic "avatars" do nothing for me and strike me as a waste of bandwidth - I don't think a picture of Mickey Mouse shooting a machine gun beside your name enhances your credibility as a subject matter expert necessarily. Though I do like the notion of being able to track the number of posts and visitors.

So, what is your opinion? Is a move worthwhile?
After 10 years, Network54 has made a "Version 3" of their forum software available. I'm looking at the utility of the new software now, which will include a threaded format similar to most other forums, with the ability to have user avatars, etc. - not a huge issue for me personally, but the main thing will be upgraded features such as text formatting tools, image uploading capability and hopefully a revised search feature.

The main stumbling block right now is the lack of an import capability; Network54 has promised an import tool in the new year, possibly at the end of January, which will enable all the messages here dating back to 1999 to be imported into the new forum format. If it is possible to transport the old messages into the new format, It would make an upgrade to the layout more attractive. I will not make any major changes without a 'public consultation' first. I've tried the version 3 board out and it appears to have some bugs still; if they iron them out I may put up a test version and get some feedback from users here; ultimately posters that use the board should be the ones who make the decision about which format they like the best.
Michael Dorosh
Webmaster
canadiansoldiers.com
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Kevin Green
Kevin Green

December 12th, 2009, 4:54 pm #10

I would say if there is not a compelling reason to change, don't bother. This format works fine for my simple purposes (and simple mind). Like you Mike, I don't need to use happy faces or barfing faces or red hot faces, nor do I care if I can put a picture beside my name. Mind you, MINNIE mouse with a machine gun, now that would be hot.
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