Potential new Forum software

Anything about use of this forum : NOT about cycling

What would you prefer for the Forum in future?

Keep everything as it is now.
26
68%
Re-build the Forum to look and feel more like other CTC sites.
4
11%
I don't really know, it depends...
8
21%
 
Total votes: 38

Malaconotus
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby Malaconotus » 4 Feb 2012, 8:55pm

I use several forums and this software is very easy to use. Would prefer to stick with the tried and tested. Perhaps when the new CTC site has proved itself, interfaces should be looked into, but migrating the entire site is a big risk, I'd have thought.

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gaz
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby gaz » 4 Feb 2012, 9:38pm

18241 forum members, 20 votes to date.

Perhaps Admin should have offered a Goretex jacket to participants and a system of proxy voting through the Chair. :wink:

There are some techy replies from those that have an inkling of how these things work, so Admin may gain some useful insights, but the results of the poll won't really be one of them.
There'll be tarmac over, the white cliffs of Dover ...

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby hubgearfreak » 4 Feb 2012, 9:58pm

gaz wrote:There are some techy replies from those that have an inkling of how these things work, so Admin may gain some useful insights, but the results of the poll won't really be one of them.


whether it suits the users is the main question, surely?

thirdcrank
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby thirdcrank » 4 Feb 2012, 10:47pm

I think that if the views of forum members were subject to detailed market research, satisfaction with the IT would be pretty high. I can't speak for experts but for people like me it works so well it's unnoticeable. I know that may not sound like praise, but it it is. It may be why people are not queuing to post.*

* Just a cliché.

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patricktaylor
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby patricktaylor » 5 Feb 2012, 12:07am

My vote: "Keep phpBB3 as we're using now."

gbnz
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby gbnz » 5 Feb 2012, 8:51am

Unless there are significant technical and/or cost issues in running two software systems, or a new proposed software system can oiffer genuine advantages, I'd state that it'd be as well to stay with the existing forum software.

It is quite possible that an alternative software system could offer advantages that'd be of no direct interest to me I.e. compatability with some super smart phone or gsm navigation device, but may encourage wider use of the forum.

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Graham
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby Graham » 5 Feb 2012, 9:55am

I really don't know.

What we appear to have at the moment is a semi-static and largely moribund CTC main website AND a near-autonomous, well-regarded and lively forum.

IF the new CTC main website had some topical, magazine-like, element it would make sense to have the lively conversations closely associated with those webpages [ as many other websites already do ].
IF the new CTC main website had some sort of structured technical section then perhaps queries and solutions could be distributed to build an ongoing knowledge base, which could be easily indexed and searched.

However, I guess that large proportion of other-forum-stuff would have no obvious association with CTC main website pages and would end up as a forum - just as we have now.

Confidence
==========
I have little confidence that those involved in the development of the NEW CTC website could be trusted to make a good/reasonable job of any beneficial integration.
Their record is dismal and it is outrageous.

I would have greater confidence if Anthony @ Fonant was brought in to do any such integration work. ( However, even he might do some initial investigation, then deploy the bargepole. )

Costs vs Benefits
==============
Where is the Cost Benefit analysis / report for the proposed changes ???? If one really does exist ( which I doubt ), is it prudent and realistic ??

Who is paying ??
==============
Would it be the members by any chance ??

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Mick F
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby Mick F » 5 Feb 2012, 10:19am

Graham wrote:I really don't know.
Most of your posts says otherwise.
Leave this forum as it is.

As for the CTC main site, I cannot remember when I last looked at it. I don't even have it bookmarked. I can agree that it needs livening up a bit and would benefit from more input, but I see no reason to touch this forum in the process.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Audax67
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby Audax67 » 5 Feb 2012, 10:24am

Having run cycling websites since the last geological epoch, my experience is that it's a pile of work, and the returns (beyond personal Zen-like satisfaction of doing a good job) come mostly in the form of criticism, some of which is occasionally useful.

This forum works well and is, I think, much appreciated by its members: you and your oversight team deserve great praise.

If you do decide on new software, I would recommend picking a package that makes your own job easier while continuing to provide the same features (or better, of course) for its members. I would not suggest that you subordinate your own powers of decision to any unripe external agency.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

thirdcrank
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Feb 2012, 10:37am

I understand the following the recent changes at the top of the CTC, the website project is being renegotiated and it's now down to two preferred suppliers. An American firm based in Bedrock (Flintstone Solutions) seemed to have it in the bag, but the EU has insisted that a European firm should be allowed to tender so the French firm Logiciel d'Obélisque is now a front runner. A UK firm was hoping to get some niche specialist work, but realised they had nobody with the expertise to perfect the search facilty since the death of Sir Mortimer Wheeler. (I know he has been dead nearly 40 years but the CTC website project has had a long lead-in period.)

In case anybody takes this seriously this is a -------> :wink:

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Si
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby Si » 5 Feb 2012, 11:59am

hubgearfreak wrote:
gaz wrote:There are some techy replies from those that have an inkling of how these things work, so Admin may gain some useful insights, but the results of the poll won't really be one of them.


whether it suits the users is the main question, surely?



It being the CTC forum I'd suggest what suits the CTC members would be the main question - similar to your observation but not quite the same*. It the forum changes got more CTC members on to it, or improved benefits for them then I would be in favour of changes. But, as I said upthread, I believe that most of such changes would be implemented in the CTC Website and other media rather than be made as changes to the forum itself.

Migrating the forum onto new SW just so that it looks and feels like the main site would seem a fair bit of work for not necessarily a big return.

*Unless we become the "forum previously known as the CTC forum" and go it alone.

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meic
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby meic » 5 Feb 2012, 12:07pm

*Unless we become the "forum previously known as the CTC forum" and go it alone.


I havent much to say on the mechanics of what this thread is about, I am just a dumb user.

On Si's point above, this would not be my first option but if the change and a surge of new users made things worse rather than better, it would be nice to have it available as plan B.
Yma o Hyd

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby hubgearfreak » 5 Feb 2012, 12:24pm

Si wrote:It being the CTC forum I'd suggest what suits the CTC members would be the main question - similar to your observation but not quite the same*.


i see the difference and it's a very valid point. but to try* to integrate the forum into the website for the possible/potential benefit of members who don't (currently) use the forum against the clearly expressed wishes of those (CTC members and not) that do use the forum seems odd. it may risk our largely polite, helpful & insightful online community

*it's not guaranteed to work, is it?

GeoffL
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby GeoffL » 5 Feb 2012, 1:46pm

@admin: On the off-chance that you don't know, it's possible to use the phpBB3 database to authenticate users on another site. You need a slightly customised version of the 'PasswordHash' module -- I can supply if you pm me. IOW, you can integrate the forum with the remainder of the CTC sites without having to ditch phpBB.

HTH,

Geoff

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gaz
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby gaz » 5 Feb 2012, 2:34pm

hubgearfreak wrote:whether it suits the users is the main question, surely?


Certainly a principle I apply to my derailleur gearing :wink:. Then again it may well be that a Rohloff would suit me better, ignorance may not be bliss.

Likewise I am happy with the current forum, it doesn't mean that a radical change may not lead me to a better experience.

But I don't think the poll will establish what suits the forum users. Having reached the dizzy heights of 28 votes cast, out of over 18000 users, I suspect we will struggle to reach a 0.25% voter turn out.
There'll be tarmac over, the white cliffs of Dover ...