classicamiga forum upgrade

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classicamiga forum upgrade

Harrison
L33t Member
Harrison
L33t Member
Joined: 08 Dec 2007, 01:26

01 May 2008, 23:54 #1

Just to let you all know that I've been working on a major upgrade for the classicamiga forums.

Finally the gold final release of the latest 3.7.0 version of vBulletin has finally been released today. :) This is a big code migration compared to the 3.6.X boards, although while the 3.6.X boards are still being supported the vB team are still backwardly migrating the security and big fixed from 3.7.X into them.

Anyway, with 3.7.0 comes some very nice new features. Everything works pretty much as it did before, but there are some nice new shiny things to play around with.

Some of them are:

Tags - These give members the ability to add keywords to the bottom of any forum thread. These then get used in forum searches and a keyword cloud to help members look for what they need. Plus the tags get references by the search bots to increase search engine relativity and hits.

Social Networking Bookmarks - Also at the bottom of threads, just above the tags strip is a new social networks strip. This gives members the ability to quickly bookmark any pages using their favourite Social Networking service, such as Digg or Google.

Cloud - You have probably seen these on a few sites by now. The site creates a cloud of recently searched keywords and popular pages on the site and shows them as a cloud of clickable keywords, with the bigger the word meaning it is more popular.

Gallery - Now to the first big new feature. A complete built in image gallery. All members now have access to their own gallery from their profiles and can create albums, make them public or private and upload whatever they like to them. Forums have been adding third party gallery mods in for years so this is a great addition.

Social Groups - Linked closely with the Gallery, Social Groups can be setup about anything and members can join them. Equally you can link gallery albums to social groups, creating quite a cool set of features to utilise for various things.

Fully customisable profile pages - This is quite a cool new addition. Think MySpace and you will get the idea. Members can now fully customise the look and layout of their profile pages. Quite cool you have to admit.

Visitor Messages - visitors to any member's profile can now leave messages and start a public or private conversation between the two.

Friends network - tied into the social network, you can now setup friends lists in your profile and utilise these lists in your social networks and galleries.

Umm... There are more new features but that will do for listing them for now.

At the moment the forum is offline as I'm currently reapplying all of the forum mods I had running under 3.6.X and I need to test each one at a time to make sure they are all setup and working as they should. And might need to uninstall any that don't like the new version of vB.

I've also got to go through a load of forum templates that contain my own custom code changes and add any new or altered 3.7 code into them.

Hopefully I should have all this done before I go to bed tonight. I'm quite a way through it already. I now just need to iron out a bug in the templates that is currently returning any errow when trying to access the usercp. Other than that it all seems to be working so far. :)
Admin of classicamiga.com, your guide to everything Amiga.
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Zetr0
Forum Whore :)
Zetr0
Forum Whore :)
Joined: 28 Jan 2007, 14:35

02 May 2008, 01:00 #2

Awesome stuff H,

for a minute there i thought i had broken it....
if i had a hammer.... i'd hammer in the morning..... i'd hammer in the evening.... i'd hammer all day......


Remember, if you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.
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DaZZaBoY
Forum Whore :)
DaZZaBoY
Forum Whore :)
Joined: 19 Apr 2005, 19:51

02 May 2008, 12:01 #3

Are you upgrading purely for the sake of upgrading or does the forum actually require it? Whatever the reason, good luck with the migration.
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Harrison
L33t Member
Harrison
L33t Member
Joined: 08 Dec 2007, 01:26

02 May 2008, 13:54 #4

Well, we have a need for some of the features that 3.7 offers such as the built in gallery as this will make uploading images for things like our hiscore competitions much easier for members. Some of the social networking additions should also prove useful for competitions and other uses such as staff projects.

And while not really considered in the past, the new tagging and cloud search features to aid in searching the forum and in search bot logging so anything of that nature is alwats welcome.

Also spam moderation will be a welcome addition, although due to the registration security we get maybe 1 spam every couple of months posted at most.

But overall, apart from the many new features it is a good idea to keep web products up to date where possible due to the constant discovery of new exploits, bugs, security risks etc to a product as its age increases. The vB team have now completely stopped support for the ageing 3.5 version and 3.6.X will slowly be coming to the end of its life as 3.7 continues to be developed.

The other reason to keep vBulletin up to date is because they are constantly improving all areas of the product. And this is not just the front end feature set, but a lot on the backend and structure. Something that is constantly being worked on is modification hooks. These are locations throughout the forum templates where mod coders can directly hook code into, working much like a web include command for mod writers to inject their code exactly where it is needed within each template without the administrator actually needing to edit the templates at all. And modifications added via the plugin install feature means that any properly written mod for vB no long should require any manual template for forum file edits. This makes life easier for the administrator, both in installing and upgrading, but also means a mod can be uninstalled from a forum with one click.

And mods is another reason to keep vB up to date. As new versions are released the mod writers move to that version and update their mods to support it directly, leaving older versions of vB without support. And as new versions of vB are released the additional mod support allows much more for the mod writers to do.

I think vB has to be the one internet product that really highlights what commercial products should be like and is definitely something worth the cost of purchase.

BTW, the classicamiga forums are now completely updated and back online again now. I still have some bits to iron out such as the profile page layouts being messed up and having to add the pager messages notification back into the user information box, but other than that everything is working again as it should. :)
Admin of classicamiga.com, your guide to everything Amiga.
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