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

thirdcrank
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Feb 2012, 2:45pm

Si wrote: ...Unless we become the "forum previously known as the CTC forum" and go it alone.


Hole in one!

The solution is in the definite article. It would always differentiate us from "CTC Forum" (except among the Hyacinths of this world who assume the absence of a definite aricle is evidence of the presence of a faint glottal stop intead.)

drossall
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby drossall » 5 Feb 2012, 2:51pm

GeoffL wrote:@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.

Geoff's clearly got knowledge of phpBB and I don't have, but this is the kind of thing to which I was alluding.

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gaz
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby gaz » 5 Feb 2012, 7:51pm

Could we please have a warning period if something is going to change. Forum users lost easy access to their phpBB2 picture galleries when we upgraded to phpBB3. There's a few posts I might try to rescue before switch-over, in case it all goes base over apex should the boards be transferred to something new.
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irc
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby irc » 5 Feb 2012, 8:57pm

Audax67 wrote:This forum works well and is, I think, much appreciated by its members: you and your oversight team deserve great praise..


+1

If it ain't broke?

The only reason I can see for changing forum software would be if it greatly reduced the admin workload.
No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby hubgearfreak » 5 Feb 2012, 9:05pm

gaz wrote: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.


fair point gaz. but some of those 18000 only joined to sell something, or ask a particular question, or moan about cyclists 'blocking' a single car's width road that they like to display their skills of MX5 driving on.

my questions to you are;
of the 18000 how many are genuine cyclists & frequent forum users
what percentage of those that remain would have to vote before the vote would be considered relevant in your eyes?

no offence meant or taken i hope, but i get very nervous of dismissing the voice of those that can be bothered to vote solely on the basis that the majority can't be buttocked

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patricktaylor
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby patricktaylor » 5 Feb 2012, 11:25pm

Graham wrote:... 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 ...

thirdcrank wrote:... the CTC website project has had a long lead-in period.) ...

A link from the website to the forums and back again is the only integration required. phpBB is best left 'standalone'. As regards the website I agree with the comment about a dismal record. A new public website can be structured in a matter of days (2 weeks tops). Structured as in functionality and style, and then it is a matter of pasting in content from the old one. Cost (using free open source software) should be minimal - the whole thing a month's work at the outside. Maybe employ a professional developer for the initial structure but after that, CTC staff can add the content instead of wasting time with Facebook. Why it is taking years rather than weeks to replace the existing shambles is hard to imagine unless there is some empire building going on.

I hope the CTC is not building an expensive beast on a Windows server because if they are it will not only be money wasted but is less likely to be redeveloped again in the (not too distant) future when it needs it.

drossall
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby drossall » 6 Feb 2012, 7:56am

patricktaylor wrote:A new public website can be structured in a matter of days (2 weeks tops).

Rather depends on the scope and scale of the project. That sounds like a limited number of pages, with no major requirements for user trials, design sign-offs, or design and build of interactive or database-driven systems. It also depends on the resources available; if you can take the staff responsible for the site and its content off other work and focus, it's going to be quicker than if they are trying to do their day jobs as well.

thirdcrank
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby thirdcrank » 6 Feb 2012, 8:34am

I know nothing about IT except as a(n often long-suffering) user. (Should that be "end user?" :roll: )

A couple of expressions have cropped up on this thread - "empire building" and "black hole" - and I've reflected on my original "don't know vote." I now wish to change to a forceful vote in favour of "no change."

I am prepared to forfeit any chance of a Goretex jacket in this cause.

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patricktaylor
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby patricktaylor » 6 Feb 2012, 8:38am

drossall wrote:
patricktaylor wrote:A new public website can be structured in a matter of days (2 weeks tops).

Rather depends on the scope and scale of the project. That sounds like a limited number of pages, with no major requirements for user trials, design sign-offs, or design and build of interactive or database-driven systems ...

I'm including all that, with no limit on the number of pages. I'm talking about a corporate type website using a content management system capable of generating thousands of pages. Styling aside, such a website can be set up in a matter of hours, although it will be a better job if a few days is spent on it. Months, years... this is ridiculous nowadays. Anyone who thinks it takes months and tens of thousands of pounds to build a public website is living in the past (and is likely to get ripped off).

If the website includes member services via login there is additional work of course - programming especially - but that can be going on behind the scenes. I am referring above to the public face of the CTC.

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Guy951
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby Guy951 » 6 Feb 2012, 9:24am

If it does get embedded in the new CTC website. meaning just one log-in for everything, will this mean us non-CTC members will be excluded, or will all the member-specific stuff become visible to us non-members?
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Si
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby Si » 6 Feb 2012, 10:06am

Guy951 wrote:If it does get embedded in the new CTC website. meaning just one log-in for everything, will this mean us non-CTC members will be excluded, or will all the member-specific stuff become visible to us non-members?


I'd guess the answer to both is 'No'.

I think that the forum staff would walk out (thus making the forum inoperable) if all the non-members who currently enjoy the forum were suddenly excluded. However, the non-member stuff on the website is a member-benefit so you won't be able to see it unless you hand over your subs.

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admin
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby admin » 6 Feb 2012, 3:44pm

Thanks for the comments, nothing too surprising there, but all useful!

I was really asking from a user's point of view: do people think having the Forum closely integrated with the new CTC website (including a single login system) would be more or less preferable to keeping the Forum a completely separate thing, as it is now.

From a mechanical point of view, there are lots of ways to link or merge the two login systems and/or share topic information. It's more about:

1) Sharing of look-and-feel between the sites.

The Forum software (phpBB3) is reasonably well-designed, but could be considered a bit over-complicated for some. Do you prefer the Forum working as it is, or would a simpler, more standard way of interacting with all CTC websites be easier and more pleasant?

2) Sharing of login details between the sites.

Would you prefer a single login for all CTC sites, including the Forum, or is keeping separate logins useful from a security/anonymity point of view?

So far it would seem that the "if it's not broken, don't fix it" view is the clear majority, which probably isn't surprising. I think that any change in the Forum would need to have some clearly explained advantages for the many users, and very few disadvantages.

Keep those comments coming!

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Mick F
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby Mick F » 6 Feb 2012, 3:50pm

Si wrote:........... so you won't be able to see it unless you hand over your subs.
If I came out of the CTC - and TBH, I'm not going to because I love the insurance! ...... if I came out, I'd still remember my membership number. I doubt the site software would keep up with expired memberships.

Or could it?
Would people become "banned" if they discontinue membership?
This could be a problem if there was a "single login" for both sites.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Si
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby Si » 6 Feb 2012, 3:56pm

Mick F wrote:
Si wrote:........... so you won't be able to see it unless you hand over your subs.
If I came out of the CTC - and TBH, I'm not going to because I love the insurance! ...... if I came out, I'd still remember my membership number. I doubt the site software would keep up with expired memberships.

Or could it?
Would people become "banned" if they discontinue membership?
This could be a problem if there was a "single login" for both sites.


As it's (proposed) to be linked in with the membership DB I think that it ought to be able to work out when one becomes a lapsed member, and so reset the access rights to just the forum. On the other hand, we do hear of cases now and then of correspondence being sent out to members who have passed away.

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Si
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Re: Potential new Forum software

Postby Si » 6 Feb 2012, 3:59pm

Would you prefer a single login for all CTC sites, including the Forum, or is keeping separate logins useful from a security/anonymity point of view?


In the deal world where both options cost the same: 'Yes' (to the former) because whenever I go to the bits of the website that I need to log in to (maps, shop, etc) I can never find my membership card to get my details. However, I go there so rarely that I would not say that it was a pressing need.