The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

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Makotosun   1 µW

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by Makotosun » Nov 23 2018 6:49pm

Nice informative site so far, by the way!

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » Nov 23 2018 9:21pm

You're welcome, and thanks for weighing in.

I looked at Kunena and can't really figure out what it offers over phpbb, other than a different way of displaying things, which looks like it took some ideas from vanilla forums. Or perhaps it's a fork of vanilla?

We've looked at these platforms in detail and here what what we came up with..
1) Discourse - too based in stack overflow-type navigation, although that can easily be hacked out. Main dealbreaker is it's written in ruby on rails, which is slow and chunky and falling out of popularity in the last few years. It would be a lot of work to maintain a fork of it, and i don't want to learn ruby; seems like a waste of time.
2) Vanilla forums - looks nicer but has less functionality than phpbb; not enough improvements to make the switch.
3) All other phbb type software - xenforo, simple machines, vbullettin etc... very few new ideas in these. Not worth it.
4) Flarum. Now this is a cool format; however it is in beta and half the functionality is all in plugins, which is not a wise design in my opinion. The plugins are a pain in the ass to write because of it's architecture, and also i expect it to run very slowly at scale. They are already refactoring it for speed despite nobody really using it yet :lol:

So yeah we are stuck with phpbb.. waiting to see how phpbb 4 .x will go, or this supposed big update of vanilla forums that's supposed to offer a nicer content editor, which is a main draw for a lot of us.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:


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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » Nov 23 2018 10:29pm

Another problem is that this board is 11 years old and people are stuck in their ways of how they use it.

A lot of things could be improved with the stock phpbb themes. As you see, i've done a lot of work on this theme, but ultimately i'd like to do something more radical and modern. It's fairly easy to hack on phpbb themes to get them to look like vanilla or some other forum, but the problem is that you don't want to shock users too much, without a good justification for making the big changes. ( IE complete platform switch with significantly upgraded functionality )
Efficiency is everything :bolt:


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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by BoomerChomsi » Nov 24 2018 1:15pm

Sorry to say FXCK Facebook, I prefer 100% this forum!
Keep on with the good work all!
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Makotosun   1 µW

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by Makotosun » Nov 25 2018 4:25pm

The main reason for going with Kunena is it is integrated with Joomla so you can add an endless amount of features to create more features for your members. Anything you add can be public or protected via membership log in.

I have added a decent classified ad section and a sort of wiki plus a lot of no longer available manuals for the old bikes available only to members. I don't charge for membership, but that is just another addition that can be done.

If ONLY doing a forum, then PHPbb seems to be a pretty decent alternative although I really dislike the lack of admin user friendliness for updates and the like. Plus, like you mentioned, the available templates are somewhat dated and lack modern responsiveness for mobile access. Kunena does a decent job of that part.

In any event, the thread struck a chord and I thought I would toss out my experience for what it is.

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by 41south » Nov 26 2018 12:40am

A lot of other groups I belong to on Fecalbook are moving off it. It's quite frankly a load of brown stuff for groups. Stick with the forum - please :thumb:

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by Dauntless » Nov 26 2018 1:24am

"Stuck" in the way they use it usually means they think it works, If it does, don't fix it.

So this old man told me the story of his company just HAD to have Java in the early days. He's getting the whole 'What a LOSER' treatment for opposing it. So they went with Java, made him handle the legacy department. That's the mirror of everything that's getting done in Java only not in Java, the just in case department.

So as you can guess, for years the just in case department is running the show. A bundle gets dropped on the ongoing failure to implement Java, basically this is the development money NOT being spent by the developer of software they're using and therefore being spent by them, as it was being spent over and over again all over the place as they, too, just HAD to have Java before it was ready. As he'd warned.

He said it was somewhere around the same time as they would have succeeded if they'd waited several years that they finally had their Java implementation in order. Much more money spent than he thought was ever necessary, much more failure to get jobs done on time, etc. But now they could do away with the Legacy department and retire him. It would turn out a little too soon. . . .
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by jonescg » Nov 26 2018 2:59am

I'm a big fan of forums. There's a reason they persist to this day - they do their job extremely well :es:

Love this place, and all it stands for.

Facebook is not the right tool for build logs and technical knowledge. If you want an argument about men's rights activism and cultural Marxism (whatever the frock that is) then Facebook is your Koolaid of choice.

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » Nov 26 2018 11:14am

Dauntless wrote:
Nov 26 2018 1:24am
He said it was somewhere around the same time as they would have succeeded if they'd waited several years that they finally had their Java implementation in order. Much more money spent than he thought was ever necessary, much more failure to get jobs done on time, etc. But now they could do away with the Legacy department and retire him. It would turn out a little too soon. . . .
That is exactly how i got started with web application programming and server administration. I took a huge but wildly outdated system on as an amateur and watched as 3 separate people tried to rewrite the entire thing from scratch. The old system was written in a simple way and easy to navigate/debug, but was not up to "current standards" in regards to it's architecture.

Over time, i ended up refactoring it from php 4.0 era code to php 7.2+ era code; still keeping it simple as possible.
I went from working on deprecated code and being considered a caveman coder to the lead maintainer of the project.

The company wasted about $300,000 on these rewrite attempts, and the cost on my labor for the complete refactor was around $70,000. The closest of the rewrite attempts got us to 60% of our previous functionality, and coincidentally, it was rewritten in a more simple way vs. the other ones which only got to 10% and 25% functionality.

Because of this, i'm heavily biased towards the keep it simple method, and this puts me at odds with the industry as a whole.

The guy who invented the discourse forum software seems to agree with me.
https://blog.codinghorror.com/it-came-f ... hitecture/
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » Nov 26 2018 11:26am

That being said, my favorite candidate for phpbb replacement ( flarum ) is built in the architecture astronaut style. And what the discourse guy said happens with architecture astronauts is happening to them. They're in beta and already refactoring the entire thing for speed, and have not made significant progress in over a year. And potential adopters of it are finding it extremely hard to customize and add functionality to. What looked like an extremely promising project now looks like a series of roadblocks.

"build first, optimize later" and "use as many layers of separation as possible" is biting this project in the ass, and i withdrew financial support from it after seeing the source code.

I believe the proper way for ES to go is to extend and modify phpbb. phpbb is oldschool, but at least written in a relatively sane manner.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:


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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by Dauntless » Nov 26 2018 11:15pm

jonescg wrote:
Nov 26 2018 2:59am
I'm a big fan of forums. There's a reason they persist to this day - they do their job extremely well :es:

The first thing to hook me was forums. Even with the trolls, who basically made me popular for my ability to slap them up. Sometimes the best discussion has razor focus, others it drifts and people say it's off topic but it sure gets the job done. Board software has little if anything to do with that.
jonescg wrote:
Nov 26 2018 2:59am
If you want an argument about men's rights activism and cultural Marxism. . . .
Facebook IS cultural marxism---Fascism too. Ack.
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by tomjasz » Dec 01 2018 1:41am

neptronix wrote:
Nov 26 2018 11:26am

I believe the proper way for ES to go is to extend and modify phpbb. phpbb is oldschool, but at least written in a relatively sane manner.
Modernvespa.com is maintained by an Apple employee. Some of it's features are almost draconian, for lack of a better wordpoking, but self-policing and well worth poking around...if code can be viewed...but being among the unwashed, I don't know what is accessible to be learned for the learned. I especially like that in the for sale section there are no comments. It seems there's always some poor lost soul making an idiotic suggestion or posting anecdotal reviews.

Tanks for all the time!
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » Dec 01 2018 12:40pm

I read about the karma system on that forum and it looks like they've copied through a bad design from reddit where users can gang up on someone in order to silence them and prevent them from posting.

In their faq they say 'sorry, maybe modern vespa is not for you' if this happens.

I've found myself in this position when i used to post on autoblog green. I was an early EV car supporter in 2006 and frequently got downvoted to hell for talking about how electric cars could actually be better / could become mainstream by groups of people who hated electrics.

Is this the draconian feature you're thinking of?
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by ngant17 » Dec 20 2018 10:11am

To bring up that ungodly social media platform, well my dear, no one has linked "In Your Facebook" articles by Dave Emory. Or did I miss a thread?

I humbly reference this at his website:

https://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record ... on-part-3/

This will take you way off e-vehicles and all that related tech. Into some dark netherworld.

I personally think Simple Machine Forums are so rad, seems easier to use than WordPress and Joomla. Haven't use other WordPress alternatives such as Grav yet. I can't get the former(SMF) system with my host, so I'm stuck with trying to be functional with the latter two.
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by markz » Feb 01 2019 5:43pm

I went over to check out MTBR Forums, they got like 100 main subjects and one e-bike subject. Over there they seem heavily into the store bought ebikes, plus there tends to be a more stringent opinion on following local laws, yet I bet most speed, atleast 1 over the limit.



I have seen some very fancy forums with 1000 facial expressions, a status update, a pop up window when someone responds. Been to others that are similar to this, but with a scrolling current live chat. I am sure one could just get hammered and blabber away.
neptronix wrote:
Nov 26 2018 11:26am
I believe the proper way for ES to go is to extend and modify phpbb. phpbb is oldschool, but at least written in a relatively sane manner.

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by Tony01 » Feb 07 2019 7:01pm

This forum software works great for me. If I want to find pictures I'll use google. Just about the only thing I'd like to see is a way to see all the pictures posted in a topic in one place.

I just quit fakebook. I call it fakebook because it isn't a book at all. It is about the farthest thing from a book. At some point it dawned on me that many people seem content with being as illiterate as possible (and/or using their brains as little as possible), and I realized that the more time I spent there, typing out long replies on my phone's touchscreen, the more I would become like those people.
Last edited by Tony01 on Feb 07 2019 11:29pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by bigmoose » Feb 07 2019 7:11pm

First, wondering what Justin's thoughts are?

Second, not a supporter of FB. More and more of it's security flaws are going to be exposed, and I think it is near the top of its curve right now.

Third, a conservative, planned migration to the next generation message board engine may be a consideration.

Finally, against a "fresh start" ... too much information would be lost.

... just the ol' guys ponderings...
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Dui, ni shuo de dui   100 W

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by Dui, ni shuo de dui » Feb 19 2019 8:31pm

Facebook sucks. I've registered on the endless shpere Facebook, tried to look at things and then just never came back at it. It's just impossible to find anything interesting. It's mostly useful for marketing purposes or maybe in some rare cases to have quick answers to some easy problems.

I find this forum quite pleasant, but it could be better. There's no actual need for an update though in my opinion, what matters is not the container, it's the content.

As a member of some other forums, my prefered platform would be this one:
https://www.bonjourchine.com/

Sorry, this forum is in french and you might like the red design or not, but it's easy to navigate, it goes automatically to the last post you've seen on the discussion, you can use likes, pictures upload is super easy, etc. There's plenty of useful little features for the users. And it works fine on mobile too.
I don't know what platform it uses but I thought maybe it could be interesting for our admins :)

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by boars » Feb 21 2019 12:50am

PHPBB > FB any old day of the week.

Sounds like half the issues you have could be resolved with a good style-sheet and a smattering of JS.
Not the embedding/posting images shenanigans but a new skin can certainly make the site look good.
You can remove excess information or hide them behind collapsible sections etc.

Heck I'm running a minor amount of JS/CSS over the top of ES now.
I do so to forums that I visit a lot, which happen to have white layouts that make my eyes bleed at night.

Having said all that, skinning PHPBB is a bit of a PITA at times.

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Feb 21 2019 9:25am

There is some evidence that "some" popular JavaScript libraries contain code that "is doing an inordinate amount of work in the background". You will see this when you leave a webpage open in your browser and out of the blue your CPU spikes for several minutes -- I've even seen 120% CPU utilization which is downright scary for a single webpage to suck that much energy from a computer. A quick look reveals that it is always a specific webpage rather than the browser itself -- however the behavior can be seen from any one of tens of dozens of many popular websites. AliExpress pages are notorious for this behavior for example, but they are hardly alone. So what might this code be doing "being the scenes"? Who knows? Bitcoin mining perhaps? Whatever.

I bring this up simply because one must take care with adding something "modern and sexy" to your website -- it could be that you are inadvertently causing grief to unsuspecting users of your offering. I for one like ES just the way it is.

Michael

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by boars » Feb 21 2019 9:47pm

MJSfoto1956 wrote:
Feb 21 2019 9:25am
There is some evidence that "some" popular JavaScript libraries contain code that "is doing an inordinate amount of work in the background". You will see this when you leave a webpage open in your browser and out of the blue your CPU spikes for several minutes -- I've even seen 120% CPU utilization which is downright scary for a single webpage to suck that much energy from a computer. A quick look reveals that it is always a specific webpage rather than the browser itself -- however the behavior can be seen from any one of tens of dozens of many popular websites. AliExpress pages are notorious for this behavior for example, but they are hardly alone. So what might this code be doing "being the scenes"? Who knows? Bitcoin mining perhaps? Whatever.

I bring this up simply because one must take care with adding something "modern and sexy" to your website -- it could be that you are inadvertently causing grief to unsuspecting users of your offering. I for one like ES just the way it is.

Michael
I think you'll find that it is not the libraries per-se causing your browser to consume inordinate amounts of CPU, memory and bandwidth.

It is what people are doing with said libraries - if a library was doing any of what you said, there'd be a huge stink and the library would be abandoned rapidly.

What's really happening (in most instances) is that websites are tracking you in every which way they can.

For instance:
The Verge shows a tracking-consent message when visiting the site from the EU. Most people will click “I Accept” to make it go away, but if you don’t and hide the message via CSS, you won’t be tracked and the site is way faster:

32 vs 5 secs load time

61 vs 2 JS files

2 vs 1 MB
Source: https://daringfireball.net/linked/2018/ ... -the-verge

There are websites that consume upwards of 10MB of data in tracking on a single page - with multiple different ad serving platforms and user analytics.

The amount of advert JS abuse is getting a bit absurd too.

Having said all of that, none of this should apply to Endless Sphere - as far as I'm aware (I haven't bothered to look deeply) there's no advert platform or user tracking analytics (aside GA which is fairly lightweight).

Utilising a new forum or CMS should make no difference to this - if you're not going out of your way to monetise your users.
Anything open source that attempted to do so on the sly would be swiftly (and rightly) crucified for doing so.

If we can get the guys who are getting your CPU to 120% to build batteries, I think we'll be onto a winner though. :mrgreen:



In other news: please keep FB tracking/login/anything the heck away from here though

Also you could always add optional skins if you were to change the look and feel of the site, that way old users that prefer the old look could then switch to that look and feel - get the best of both worlds.

:pancake:

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Feb 22 2019 7:39am

boars wrote:
Feb 21 2019 9:47pm
I think you'll find that it is not the libraries per-se causing your browser to consume inordinate amounts of CPU, memory and bandwidth.

It is what people are doing with said libraries - if a library was doing any of what you said, there'd be a huge stink and the library would be abandoned rapidly.

What's really happening (in most instances) is that websites are tracking you in every which way they can.
No doubt the majority of the issue is ad related as you say. But then again, AliExpress doesn't use ads and I regularly see their pages "spike" out of the blue. Thank god for Activity Monitor.

M

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by raylo32 » Feb 24 2019 10:44am

Exactly, forums are pretty much the perfect tool for topics like this. I am a relatively new user here but it works pretty much like any other forum I am a member of. Very little learning curve, easy to find relevant information. The only thing I would quibble with is some of the topical structure but that is small potatoes.
jonescg wrote:
Nov 26 2018 2:59am
I'm a big fan of forums. There's a reason they persist to this day - they do their job extremely well :es:

Love this place, and all it stands for.

Facebook is not the right tool for build logs and technical knowledge. If you want an argument about men's rights activism and cultural Marxism (whatever the frock that is) then Facebook is your Koolaid of choice.

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by Dui, ni shuo de dui » Mar 05 2019 1:28am

I'm not really sure where I could ask this question so I'll just ask it there, it can be moved elsewhere if more appropriate:

Is there any thread who sum up the most awesome builds of the forum?

As it turns out, I often run accross some very nice build threads when I randomly browse on Google, and most of them are actually in this very forum. But without Google I'd have no idea they ever existed!
Some build threads are really great and I think they deserve to be viewed by more people, but they get lost in the thousands of other newer threads, so it would be nice if there were a sum up with links and if possible a picture of whatever the build looks like in its final stage.

Just a few conditions:
-The build should be finished or at least fully operational (it can still be evolving but at least its done)
-It should be some above the average projects, only the best stuff

I don't know if it already exists, in which case forgive me and please indicate me where, but it thought it would be really nice otherwise.

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by amberwolf » Mar 05 2019 1:46am

There have been several "awesome build compilation" threads created over the years, but the only ongoing one of a similar type is the "your creation's before and after" thread, which is intended (and mostly used as) a "couple pics and a link to the actual build thread" kind of thread.

One I started as a compilation of complete-DIY builds, where the frame/vehicle/whatever itself is custom built by the member as well as the conversion (or whatever), has a few things there. I think the title is something like "who's scratch-built their own vehicle"

Spinningmagnets has articles on another site that index various custom builds.

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