Poll

Switch to SMF for forum?

Yes, please.
9 (34.6%)
No, I like phpBB
6 (23.1%)
Undecided, I'm ok with either phpBB or SMF
11 (42.3%)

Total Members Voted: 26

Voting closed: October 08, 2007, 02:35:44 PM

Author Topic: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?  (Read 13174 times)

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Offline saratogaWX

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Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« on: October 01, 2007, 02:35:44 PM »
We're getting a bit behind in our current level of the forum software, and in a discussion among the admins, the idea to switch to SMF from our current PHP  would make it easier to maintain (and provide some additional features).

SMF is the same software used for the Weather-Display, Ambient and GRLevelXStuff forums that many of you may already visit.
phpBB is used by Weather-Matrix, Astrogenic, GRLevelX, AllisonHouse and us(currently).

Conversion would preserve the userid info, forums, topics and postings, along with the private mailboxes, so you could use your existing userid/password to sign in.  

I thought we should ask Y'all before embarking on a forum shuffle.

Please let us know by voting above (and additional comments added below).

Thanks,
Ken
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Offline WeatherHost

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2007, 03:40:00 PM »
I've run both.  phpBB is kind of a pain to keep updated if you have any amount of modifications.  SMF seems to allow for easier updates and they have less of them.


I'm not sure there's any real difference from the user standpoint.

Offline ncpilot

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2007, 04:14:56 PM »
I voted undecided, from the end-user standpoint...

But, I think the admins should use whatever makes their life easiest. I mean, I know you are getting paid the big bucks to run this site  :wink: , that doesn't mean it shouldn't be easy...  :lol:

The other format (SMF) works for me too...
Marc
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Offline WeatherBeacon

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2007, 04:44:24 PM »
Quote from: "ncpilot"
I voted undecided, from the end-user standpoint...

But, I think the admins should use whatever makes their life easiest. I mean, I know you are getting paid the big bucks to run this site  :wink: , that doesn't mean it shouldn't be easy...  :lol:

The other format (SMF) works for me too...

Ditto. Whatever is easiest for the admins is fine with me.

Kevin...
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Offline Mark / Ohio

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2007, 08:22:16 PM »
Ditto the above.  UU

Whichever one spins your anemometer most comfortably is fine with me.  :mrgreen:
Mark 
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Offline Matt - AZ

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2007, 01:08:02 AM »
I must agree with the above post as well.

Quote from: "Mark / Ohio"
Whichever one spins your anemometer most comfortably is fine with me.  :mrgreen:


LOL!!   :lol:

Includes four stations across the east valley of Phoenix, Arizona

Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2007, 04:30:58 PM »
Looks like the voting is:

Yes, please.    37%      [ 9 ]
No, I like phpBB      16%       [ 4 ]
Undecided, I'm ok with either phpBB or SMF     45%     [ 11 ]
Total Votes : 24

so I'd like to view that as a OK to convert to SMF (since the 11 undecided could go with either solution).  I'll make plans with Chris on how to do this conversion with the least amount of 'down-time' for the forum.

Thanks to all who've expressed their opinions.  I hope the 4 folks who would rather stay with phpBB will be feeling ok with a new SMF board .. it really will have better features for all (including a show-unread posts since your last visit).

Best regards,
Ken
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Offline WeatherBeacon

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2007, 04:37:32 PM »
Quote from: "saratogaWX"
Looks like the voting is:

Yes, please.    37%      [ 9 ]
No, I like phpBB      16%       [ 4 ]
Undecided, I'm ok with either phpBB or SMF     45%     [ 11 ]
Total Votes : 24

so I'd like to view that as a OK to convert to SMF (since the 11 undecided could go with either solution).

I think that's a safe assumption.

Quote from: "saratogaWX"

I'll make plans with Chris on how to do this conversion with the least amount of 'down-time' for the forum.

Great! Thanks, guys!

Quote from: "saratogaWX"

Thanks to all who've expressed their opinions.  I hope the 4 folks who would rather stay with phpBB will be feeling ok with a new SMF board .. it really will have better features for all (including a show-unread posts since your last visit).

That, and the ability to "Show new replies to your posts" is very handy.

Thanks for all your hard work, guys!

Regards,

Kevin...
Mae govannen!
Kevin  (Member AMS) http://www.wxbeacon.com               Genesee County, Michigan
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Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2007, 04:43:04 PM »
Thanks Kevin,

I'll make sure that both

Show unread posts since last visit.
Show new replies to your posts.  

links appear (along with the nifty icon to the right of the new listed topic that jumps you to the most recent post on the topic).

I learned a lot about SMF by converting a small forum recently and I'm impressed with how easy SMF 1.1.4 is to set-up and convert from phpBB (as long as you don't go crazy with new templates :- ).

Best regards,
Ken
Ken True/Saratoga, CA, USA main site: saratoga-weather.org
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Offline kray1000

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2007, 05:45:46 PM »
While you guys are at it, could you add links like these?

Posts with short itty-bitty words (for those days your attention span)

or

Posts with smilies or cheesy jokes (when you're feeling a little bitchy and need a lift)


That's all for today.

Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2007, 05:53:47 PM »
:lol:

I'll have to dig in the docs for SMF to find those search parameters Kevin.

How about a Search for tongue-in-cheek posts. for those needing a wry/ironic humor lift?

Best regards,
Ken :D
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Offline WeatherHost

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2007, 02:08:00 AM »
Just try and avoid the rollover menu buttons at the top, they seem to do funny things for me.  And not the good funny.

Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2007, 04:00:51 PM »
I agree, no roll-over graphics.  We're doing the classic SMF theme without roll-over images :-)

Best regards,
Ken
Ken True/Saratoga, CA, USA main site: saratoga-weather.org
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Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2007, 11:57:23 AM »
I think the conversion is ready to perform.  The forum will be offline this afternoon (9-Oct-2007) from about 4pm EDT (1pm PDT) for hopefully less than an hour.  Your userids will keep the same name/password as you currently use, and all forums/posts/private messages will be moved to SMF.

Best regards,
Ken
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Offline SLOweather

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2007, 12:04:34 PM »
Fine business, Ken. Thanks for the warning (especially in view of the Ambient thread. ;)).

Chris

Offline Mark / Ohio

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2007, 07:49:51 PM »
Well now wasn't that a slick change over!   8-)

Easy for me to say since I was not doing the work. :mrgreen:

Good work guys!   =D>
Mark 
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Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2007, 07:53:23 PM »
Thanks Mark!  We try to be accommodating :)

SMF's conversion utility took most of the work out of getting the data from phpBB to SMF.
I did have to move the directory up by one (to the home directory of the server), so that and changing the internal links in the setup files and database is what took the hour for the cutover.  Now we're set!

Best regards,
Ken
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Offline kray1000

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2007, 09:27:16 PM »
Definitely an improvement, but it looks a lot like the Ambient forum.  Are there different color schemes available to help my feeble brain distinguish one from another?

Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2007, 09:31:21 PM »
There are other schemes available.  The hassle I had with them is that mods usually install only to the 'default' theme (this one), and other schemes don't have the same feature set as this one.

I can look at replacing the gradient fills with a different set.

I'd kinda hoped that our big logo and the line of weather icons at the top would help differentiate a bit :)

But... I see what you mean .. same basic scheme.  I'll see what a small bit of freshening can do for us.  Thanks!

Best regards,
Ken
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Offline WeatherHost

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Re: Stick with phpBB or switch to SMF?
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2007, 03:49:36 AM »
I haven't dug into it on SMF, but you should be able to change the backgound colors if you want to even if you don't want to change the menu/title/divider bar colors.

One problem I noticed with SMF is that most of the available alternative themes are TOO different from the default, and like you said some features won't work.  If there was a slightly different theme or two, you could select a forum default and allow users to choose an installed alternative of their liking.